Messi's 10.5m influence on Ligue 1

Ligue 1

Lionel Messi has played only one match in Ligue 1 but has already made the league aware of his influence on world football after Paris Saint-Germain's match on Sunday broke TV viewing records. 

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner is one of the most commercially attractive stars in football due to the dazzling performances he has produced in his 17-year career so far.

Messi built up a massive following during his time at FC Barcelona, and it appears that most of his supporters are following him at his new club too. 

Read: Transfer deadline day wrap-up

Despite only playing for 25 minutes in his long-awaited PSG debut against Stade de Reims on the weekend, the star's pulling power has already contributed to a record-breaking number of TV viewers in the division's history.

According to the Daily Mirror, just over 10.5 million viewers tuned in to watch the game, making it the most watched Ligue 1 fixture ever.  

Despite many of Messi's fans hoping he would score in the encounter, there was no dream debut goal for the 34-year-old. This will not have concerned many, though, as it was the forward's first match since leading Argentina to 2021 Copa America triumph in July, so he is still working his way back to full fitness.   

Interestingly, the abovementioned viewing figures is a good thing for Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, whose company Kosmos Holding bought the rights to broadcast Ligue 1 matches in Spain.  

Per ESPN, this deal is set to continue for the next three years, with a plan to later sub-license it to a television channel.  

Did you see Messi in action on his PSG debut on Sunday? Have a look:

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