Messi, Neymar, Mbappe given bench warning

Paris Saint-Germain manager Christophe Galtier has warned superstar trio Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar that they need to accept a role on the bench, whether they like it or not.

While Mauricio Pochettino would rarely make rotations, successor Galtier didn’t hesitate to put Neymar on the bench on Saturday, three days before their Champions League opener against Juventus.

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Neymar came on around the hour mark but it was Mbappe who made way for his fellow forward in their 3-0 win at Nantes and the France international did not show any sign of frustration.

Messi is the one who played the most among the three, although he was also recalled to the bench in the closing stages against Monaco and Toulouse.

Galtier, who took over this season, had warned that the team would come first, and he has been true to his word as PSG scored a record 24 goals in their opening six league matches.

“I talked about it twice — once with each of them and once with the whole squad, to tell them that this is how it was going to be and that we had to have the right attitude and accept it,” Galtier told a news conference on Monday.

With a packed schedule with the World Cup looming in the European autumn, Galtier said there was little choice.

“You say it’s new, but it’s an obligation for everyone because of the very busy schedule,” he added.

“We play a lot, every three days, then every four days, then there is the World Cup. Everyone has to understand that they won’t be able to play all the games.”

Sergio Ramos was also given a relative rest against Nantes, only coming on in the 62nd minute.

“Everyone has to be ready to play. The most important thing is the team. We have quality in both the starters and the substitutes,” Presnel Kimpembe said.

“We have a good group. Everyone knows that. We take advantage of each other to be as good as possible.”

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