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Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Messi: Too soon for PSG to make impact

Fabien Perrin, France Correspondent

Lionel Messi believes Paris Saint-Germain will struggle to make an impression in the latter stages of the Champions League this season.

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In an interview given to France Football, the Barcelona forward highlighted similarities between PSG and big-spending Premier League club Manchester City, both bought using Middle-East funds.

PSG have followed City's lead by investing heavily in star players, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Thiago Motta and Jeremy Menez all moving to the Parc des Princes.

Manchester City failed to get out of the group stages of the Champions League in their debut campaign last season, dropping into the Europa League after finishing third in a pool topped by Bayern Munich and Napoli. But they did pick up their first ever Premier League title.

PSG had to settle for second place to Montpeller in Ligue 1 in 2011-12 but earned a passage into the Champions League for the first time in eight years. PSG are well placed to qualify for the knockout rounds, in second and three points clear of Dynamo Kiev with two home games left out of the three remaining group matches.

Messi, however, cannot see the French club progressing too far.

"It reminds me of Manchester City," he explained. "It's not easy to build a team when the players come from everywhere. I don't know if Paris can compete with the biggest European teams already this season. That sounds difficult to me.

"I guess they will be French champions with these players who individually make a difference. But to build a competitive team, it needs time."

PSG are currently three points clear of Toulouse and Marseille at the top of Ligue 1, although Marseille have a game in hand.




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