Lionel Messi and Neymar’s differing training results speaks volumes about PSG team-mates

by | 20 November, 2022 | Ligue 1 News

Lionel Messi never elects to be the man in the middle of PSG's rondo training sessions

Lionel Messi never elects to be the man in the middle of PSG’s rondo training sessions

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed how his former Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi “never goes in the middle” of rondos during training sessions.

The rondo is a training drill in which a group of players in close proximity pass the ball to each other, while a teammate will go into the middle of the group and attempt to intercept the pass and win the ball back. Whoever loses possession has to go into the middle.

Coaches believe the exercise improves player’s decision-making, coordination, team play, creativity, competitiveness, and physical conditioning. Pochettino – who also suggested that Kylian Mbappe wanted to leave the club last year to join Real Madrid – was in favour of them at PSG.

Speaking in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Pochettino explained: “Let us talk about the rondos in training: Messi almost never goes in the middle, because he is never wrong. Neymar is always in the middle. Leo finds pleasure in simplicity, Ney in difficulty.”

Pochettino then went on to discuss Messi’s status in Argentina on the eve of the 2022 World Cup kicking-off. The tournament is set to be the superstar’s last chance to finally land the one major title that has eluded him throughout his career.

“Remarkable energy has been generated in Argentina,” added Pochettino. “People feel that Leo deserves the world title even more than the country does. In Argentina, a fear has seized him: time passes and there is a risk that Messi will not win the World Cup, so now everyone has put themselves at his disposal to achieve a victory that has not occurred since 1986.”