Lionel Messi has officially joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer following his departure from Barcelona.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has opted to continue his career at Parc des Princes after an illustrious 21-year spell at Camp Nou by committed to a two-season deal at Parc des Princes with the option of an extra year, and will reportedly earn €35 million (£30m/$41m) per annum in wages with the French giants.
Barca sent shockwaves across the football world when announcing that they couldn’t afford to re-register the 34-year-old winner last week, and PSG have moved quickly to secure the services of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Messi said, “I am impatient to start a new chapter of my career in Paris, the club and its vision are in perfect harmony with my ambitions. I know how talented the players and staff are here. I am determined to build, alongside them, something great for the club and for the fans. I can’t wait to set foot on the Parc des Princes pitch.
“I am delighted that Lionel Messi has chosen to join Paris Saint-Germain and we are proud to welcome him to Paris, with his family,” said Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the club president.
“He did not hide his desire to continue to evolve at the highest level and to win trophies. The ambition of the club is of course identical. The addition of Leo to our world-class team confirms the relevance and success of our recruitment. Together with our great coach and his staff, I look forward to seeing our team make history for all of our supporters around the world. ” Says the club president.
Messi’s departure has been a topic of hot discussion ever since he handed in a transfer request at Camp Nou at the end of the 2019-20 campaign, with the like of Manchester City, Inter and Bayern Munich all linked with the Argentine and a possible switch to MLS also an option.
Messi play on for one more season though as Barca managed to convince him and helped the club win the Copa del Rey under Ronald Koeman, he changed his mind about calling a halt to his 21-year career in Catalunya.
It is well known as a well-documented financial crisis forced the Blaugrana to delay an official announcement of a new contract for Messi, who agreed to remain in the club for another five years after becoming a free agent on 30th of June, 2021.
However, Barca had already exceeded La Liga’s salary limit which makes the renewal proposal eventually had to be torn up and due to the fact their talismanic captain had no choice but to confirm his exit in an emotional final press conference.
No doubt about it that PSG have signed a man who will surely be remembered as the finest player to ever grace the Camp Nou turf, with his staggering record of 672 goals through 778 appearances for Barca which will be unlikely to be broken soon or in distant future.
Messi helped the Blaugrana win 34 trophies in total, including four Champions Leagues and 10 La Liga titles, having initially made his debut for the club as a 17-year-old back in 2004
The Argentina international’s vast experience and insatiable hunger for major silverware could prove invaluable for PSG as they bid for success on both domestic and European fronts in 2021-22.
Head coach Mauricio Pochettino will be expected to win back the Ligue 1 title from Lille and conquer the Europe clubs, with ex-Barca team-mate Neymar and World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe and Messi to complete a mouth-watering front three.