Messi shows off Ballon d’Or as PSG held by Nice


Paris (AFP) – Lionel Messi showed off his latest Ballon d’Or to Paris Saint-Germain supporters on Wednesday but the Argentinian had a quiet night as the Ligue 1 leaders were held to a 0-0 draw by Nice at the Parc des Princes.

The 34-year-old had been a pre-match doubt having reportedly picked up a stomach bug after going out to celebrate being named the best player in the world for the seventh time at a ceremony in Paris on Monday.

However, he started against Nice in a PSG side missing Neymar, who is expected to be sidelined for up to eight weeks with an ankle injury.

Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe came closest to finding the net after the break for PSG, who had a huge let-off as Kasper Dolberg hit the post for Nice in the second half when it seemed easier to score. 

Messi has still managed just one Ligue 1 goal since moving to Paris in August from Barcelona, although he has also netted three times in the Champions League.

Gianluigi Donnarumma also showed off an award pre-match, the Italian displaying the Yashin Trophy he won at the Ballon d’Or gala for being the best goalkeeper of a year in which he starred in his side’s Euro 2020 victory.

He did not have too much to do against Nice, although he did make one crucial stop from an Andy Delort header just after the half-hour mark.

Despite the draw, Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG side are 12 points clear at the top of the French table from Marseille, who climbed up to second with a 1-0 win at Nantes on Wednesday as Brazilian midfielder Gerson got their goal.

Marseille, who still have a game in hand after the abandonment of their recent match at Lyon, move above Rennes after the Brittany side went down 2-1 at home to defending champions Lille.

Nice slip to fourth in the table, while fifth-placed Lens drew 2-2 at Clermont.

The big winners of the evening were Strasbourg, who crushed struggling Bordeaux 5-2 and sit sixth in the table.

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