Football star, Lionel Messi has been excluded from Ligue 1’s team of the season so far, after an underwhelming start at French giants Paris Saint-Germain – but Arsenal loanee William Saliba, at Marseille, has made the cut.
The team has been compiled by the Football Observatory with players – who have played a minimum of 900 minutes – selected according to the CIES Performance Index powered by Opta data.
Messi, 34, collected his seventh Ballon d’Or title as he scooped the 2021 accolade last month, but his early form at PSG has fallen far short of his sky-high expectations.
He has found it difficult to adapt to French football in the opening half of the campaign following his high-profile summer transfer from Barcelona.
The former Barcelona star has found the net just once in Ligue 1 so far in his opening 10 matches in the division amid fears that he will fall short of 20 domestic league goals for the first campaign since 2007/08.
Four of Messi’s teammates have been selected in the strongest XI for Ligue 1 this campaign, with a record six teams presented in the line-up.
Marseille are represented in the team by three players while Montpellier, Lens, Rennes and Brest each have one player in the team.
The PSG quartet in the team are defender Presnel Kimpembe, wing-back Achraf Hakimi, midfielder Idrissa Gueye and superstar striker Kylian Mbappe.
Marseille central defender William Saliba – on loan from Arsenal – is included in the team alongside his teammates Boubacar Kamara and Dimitri Payet.
Lining up in a 4-3-2-1 formation, Payet and Brest star Romain Favre are the two attacking players in the side alongside the lone striker Mbappe.