Stade de Reims midfield star Marshall Munetsi, formerly of Orlando Pirates, kept a tight leash on Lionel Messi who made his debut as a substitute for Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.
Real-Madrid-linked Kylian Mbappe scored for PSG in the first half.
Munetsi, who was outstanding for Reims, thought he had equalised just five minutes into the second half. However, VAR disallowed the goal for offside.
With the spotlight on Messi and fans calling for him to be brought on the anticipation was electric.
The second PSG goal in the 63rd minute scored by Mbappe only served to amplify the fans’ demands for Messi to come on.
Three minutes later, PSG Manager Mauricio Pochettino relented and he brought on the Argentine superstar for his former Barcelona teammate Neymar.
Munetsi, however, remained calm and resolute. He responded well to the challenge of keeping Messi quiet.
The duels were mostly won by Munetsi, who towered over the diminutive six-time Ballon d’Or winner. He even welcomed Messi with a few crunching tackles.
The former Pirates’ player was somewhat lucky to finish the match without a booking.
Munetsi featured for Orlando Pirates between 2016 and 2019.
It has been two years since Munetsi moved to France and in that time he has grown into a key player for Ligue 1 side Reims, where he has made 54 appearances.
Before he cemented his place at Pirates, Munetsi had a successful loan spell at Baroka FC.