Will Messi, Mbappe & Neymar play in PSG's next Ligue 1 game?

Euan Burns
Lionel Messi parading the World Cup trophy in Buenos Aires
Lionel Messi parading the World Cup trophy in Buenos Aires / Marcelo Endelli/GettyImages

The 2022 Qatar World Cup saw some of the biggest stars in world football come up against each other and go home in very different moods. It just so happens that three of the biggest stars all play in attack for Paris Saint-Germain; Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, and Lionel Messi.

Two of those three stars made it all the way to the final, whilst Neymar saw his Brazil side get eliminated in the quarter-final by Croatia on penalties. For Mbappe, it was a defeat in the final against Messi's Argentina that meant France could not win back-to-back World Cups.

PSG fans are now left understandably wondering who will be available for their first competitive match back following the break.

Who do PSG play first after the World Cup?

The Ligue 1 champions get their title defence back underway on Wednesday, December 28. They welcome Strasbourg to the Parc des Princes, a game that the fans will expect to see their side win easily.

Strasbourg currently sit 19th in Ligue 1 and are in serious danger of being relegated to Ligue 2 at the end of the season. They are without a win in their last five before the break and will set up to frustrate PSG.

Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe still won the Golden Boot in Qatar / Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Are Messi, Mbappe and Neymar back in PSG training?

Having been knocked out of the World Cup just 12 days ago, Neymar has already returned to PSG training and for that reason, it is hard to imagine that he won't have a role to play on December 28 as long as he does not pick up an injury between now and then.

He will be a man on a mission considering Brazil were the bookies' favourites to win the World Cup when the tournament began.

As for Mbappe, his World Cup only ended on December 18, even though he scored a hat-trick in the final. Just three days later though, he surprisingly arrived at PSG's Camp des Loges facility on December 21 and has chosen not to take the holiday that the club granted to those participating in the World Cup.

For that reason, it is hard to see why the clearly determined 23-year-old won't be involved in the match against Strasbourg along with Neymar.

Neymar, Dani Alves
Neymar was left distraught after Brazil's shock exit / Zhizhao Wu/GettyImages

Messi's case could be slightly different to his teammates. Having won the tournament and achieved what must be the crowning moment in his career, the Argentine is understandably less likely to give up his well-earned break. Age is also a relevant factor as to why some time off could help Messi later in the season.

It is expected that he will be back in Paris at the start of January. Given there is one game in December and then PSG face Lens on New Year's Day, he seems set to miss at least two matches whilst he celebrates the World Cup win.

His return to PSG will also coincide with the resumption of contract extension talks, as the former Barcelona man's current deal expires at the end of the 2022/23 season.