Aug 11, 2021: Argentina Forward Lionel Messi to join PSG after leaving Barcelona comes as big news from the football fraternity. Messi left Barcelona after 21 years last week and has signed a two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), with the option of an additional year, the French club announced on Tuesday.
Messi to join PSG after 21 years in FCB
Messi, 34, will wear the number 30, the number he had when he began his professional career at Barca and it was unveiled by PSG at a press conference earlier on Wednesday.
“I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain,” he said in a statement on the club’s website.
“Everything about the club matches my football ambitions,” Messi, who was given a hero’s welcome by the PSG fans when he arrived in the French capital on Tuesday, added.
“I know how talented the squad and the coaching staff are here. I am determined to help build something special for the club and the fans, and I am looking forward to stepping out onto the pitch at the Parc des Princes,” he added.
Messi to join PSG after a grand welcome from Paris
While PSG had to pay 222 million euros (then $261 million) to sign Neymar from Barcelona in 2017, there was no transfer fee for Messi. Financial terms were not announced, but The New York Times reported Messi will earn $41 million per year. Messi had spent his entire pro career with Barcelona, but his contract expired and the two sides couldn’t agree on a new deal. His last contract was for four years and $674 million, and he was looking at a massive pay cut to return to the Spanish side.
Messi had a shocking Barca exit
It was very complicated to exit Barcelona without knowing where I would go. Barcelona was my home since I was a kid. I knew I’d arrive in a strong team that was aiming to win the Champions League, which I love to win. I know my goals and Paris’ goals are the same. I don’t know if we will face Barcelona, it would be very nice to go back, hopefully with fans. It would be very strange to play at home, there in Barcelona, in another shirt, but it could happen.
During his time at Barcelona, Messi won six Ballon d’Or titles in a sign of his status as one of the greatest of all time. Messi became the most desired free agent last year after his Barcelona contract expired. He agreed to play for the Catalan club on pay cut but the Spanish league’s financial regulations ended his association with the club he joined as a 13-year-old.
Regardless, fans are excited about Messi joining Paris with other top signings in the club. The internet is filled with adoration for Messi who has become a name synonymous with football.