On Tuesday night, Lionel Messi signed his Paris Saint-Germain contract. This move confirms the end to a long career with Barcelona and launches PSG into a new era.
In a statement, the French club stated that the 34-year old star of Argentina signed a two year deal with an option for a third.
Messi stated, “I am excited about beginning a new chapter in my career at Paris Saint-Germain.” Messi said that everything about the club matches my football goals. I am aware of the talent displayed by the team and coaching staff. I’m determined to build something special for the club, the fans, and I look forward to getting out on the Parc des Princes pitch.”
Although no salary information was provided, a person who knew about the negotiations said that Messi will be earning around 35 million euros ($41million) annually. This was said under condition of anonymity prior to the signing of the contract.
Nasser Al-Khelaifi, chairman of PSG, said that he was delighted that Lionel Messi chose to join Paris Saint-Germain. He also stated that he and his family were proud to be in Paris. “He has not hidden his desire to compete at the highest level and win trophies. Naturally, our club’s ambition is to do the exact same,” Nasser Al-Khelaifi said.
It is symbolic that Messi will be wearing the No. It is symbolic that Messi will wear the No. 30 jersey, which he wore in his two first seasons with Barcelona. 19, and finally the prized No. 10 which Neymar can keep at PSG.
Many PSG fans gathered at Le Bourget Airport, Paris to welcome Messi. He was wearing a Tshirt that said “Ici c’est Paris” — “This Paris.”
These words are a familiar refrain that favored fans chant at Parc des Princes stadium where Messi will be presented before Saturday’s match against Strasbourg.
His arrival was so popular that police had to intervene to prevent metal barriers from falling at the airport. Fans rushed forward to see the spectacle. The police escort, which included officers on motorbikes and were dressed in black, followed him into Paris.
Many gathered at the stadium to see Messi as he arrived, and their disbelief turned into sheer excitement. The smiling superstar waved briefly to them before going under medical supervision.
Jorge, Messi’s agent and father, had earlier confirmed that his son was moving from Argentina to PSG in an exchange with reporters at Josep Torradellas Barcelona El Prat Airport. He took off in the afternoon.
Messi, his wife and their three children arrived in Rome and boarded a private plane.
“With it all. Towards a new adventure. Antonela Roccuzzo posted a picture of her and her husband on Instagram with the caption “The five together”.
Since the Qatari sovereign wealth investment linked with the emir, PSG supporters have witnessed their club transform over the past decade. PSG was able to finance the signing of Messi, the six-time player of the world.
Messi’s arrival at PSG gives it formidable attacking options, as he links up to Kylian Mbappe, the winner of France’s World Cup, and Neymar, the forward from Brazil.
“Back together,” Neymar wrote on Instagram, over a video of them hugging and playing for Barcelona.
PSG paid 222 million euros (or $261 million) for Neymar’s signing from Barcelona in 2017. However, Messi did not have to pay any transfer fees.
After his unsuccessful attempts to remain at Barcelona, Messi was rebuffed by the Spanish league. The salary did not meet financial regulations and the Catalan club was left with debts exceeding 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 million).
After Barcelona’s announcement last Thursday, Messi was leaving PSG as a 13 year-old, Mauricio pochettino, the coach of PSG, quickly reached out to his fellow Argentine.
Messi was awarded every major honor by Barcelona, and was given a tearful goodbye news conference on Sunday to mark the end of an era. Only Cristiano Ronaldo, in the current era, challenges Messi’s position as an all-time greatest.
PSG will hope that Messi helps them regain the French title they lost to Lille last year, and also win the Champions League.
A 4-3-3-3 formation by Pochettino could mean that Messi would be deployed on the right, Neymar on his left and Mbappe in the middle.
Pochettino’s dilemma would be how to use Angel Di Maria (whose goal secured the Copa America title last week) and another Argentine attacker, Mauro Icardi. It’s a tactical challenge most coaches would relish, with a 4-2-3-1 or 3-5-2 also in the mix to accommodate the attacking talents available.
PSG’s compliance with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play should not be too difficult. The rules have been modified to accommodate the pandemic. As chairman of the European Club Association, Al-Khelaifi, president of PSG, is part of the discussion to update FFP. This could allow for more unchecked spending.