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UEFA Champions League: Lionel Messi’s eight-year streak ends after substitution

For the first time in eight years and 63 games, Lionel Messi was substituted off after starting a Champions League match.

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New Delhi: For the first time in eight years and 63 games, Lionel Messi was substituted off after starting a UEFA Champions League match.

The Argentine megastar’s streak began on October 21, 2014, and since then he had played the full 90 minutes of every game in which he had started in Europe’s premier competition.

During Messi’s incredible run of full 90-minute matches, he won the Champions League, reached the round of 16 twice, the quarter-finals four times, and the semi-finals once.

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Messi has the records for the most Champions League group stage goals: 74 (71 for Barcelona), the most Champions League round of 16 goals: 28, and the most Champions League goals for a single club: 120 (Barcelona).

In the match, Kylian Mbappé struck twice as Paris Saint-Germain started their quest for Champions League glory with a victory over Juventus. The France international took just five minutes to put his side in front after running on to Neymar’s through-ball and he doubled his tally with just 22 minutes gone.

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Half-time Juventus substitute, Weston McKennie scored a 53rd-minute header after Mbappé had squandered a great chance for the hosts, failing to pass the ball across to the unmarked Neymar early in the second half.

PSG manager Christophe Galtier said, “Mbappé played a great game and he is goal obsessed. Maybe he did not see Neymar, I don’t know.”

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