Lionel Messi is 'exempt from certain tasks' at Paris Saint-Germain
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Paris Saint-Germain manager Christophe Galtier has admitted Lionel Messi is so good that he is "exempt" from certain tasks.
Now 35, you rarely see the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner sprinting all over the pitch like he did back in the day. Instead, Messi comes alive in moments of brilliance - as seen in his incredible and triumphant World Cup campaign.
In the absence of both Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, who were both sidelined with injuries, Messi came up with the goods for PSG on Friday night, scoring a stunning strike as the Ligue One champions came from behind to beat Toulouse 2-1 at the Parc des Princes.
Messi is the ultimate luxury player, possessing an unrivalled level of quality with the ball at his feet. And Galtier has explained how he does not ask for much off the ball work from the Barcelona legend, calling for teammates to double their load to bring the best out of him.
"I ask the team to play for Leo and work for him," Galtier said in his press conference, as per Get French Football News.
"He must be exempted from certain tasks. His partners must redouble their efforts to recover and create movement so that he find passes, which are so rare in today's football, in such small spaces."
A lot is made about Messi spending a lot of time walking on the pitch, with some even branding him "lazy". It came after he had incredibly high walking stats at the World Cup in Qatar.
But the strolling without the ball is actually a tactic which allows him to conserve energy and see where the space is.
"He's not out of the game. He's involved," Pep Guardiola, his former manager, told Amazon Prime.
"Moving his head. Right, left, left, right. He’s not running, but he’s always watching what’s happening.
"He smells who is the weak point of the back four. After five, 10 minutes, he has the map. He knows if I move here, here, I will have more space to attack."