Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed the signing of Lionel Messi with the Argentinian breaking his silence after agreeing to join following his emotional Barcelona exit
Lionel Messi has stated he is “excited to begin a new chapter” in his first words since becoming a Paris Saint-Germain player.
Messi paid an emotional farewell to Barcelona last week but has quickly been confirmed as a PSG player, taking the No.30 shirt.
In his first words since joining the Parisian club, he told their official website : “I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain. Everything about the club matches my football ambitions.
“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.”
Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Chairman and CEO of Paris Saint-Germain said: “I am delighted that Lionel Messi has chosen to join Paris Saint-Germain and we are proud to welcome him and his family to Paris.
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“He has made no secret of his desire to continue competing at the very highest level and winning trophies, and naturally our ambition as a club is to do the same.
“The addition of Leo to our world class squad continues a very strategic and successful transfer window for the club.
“Led by our outstanding coach and his staff, I look forward to the team making history together for our fans all around the world.”
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Messi will be officially unveiled tomorrow morning at 11am local time (10am BST).
He is expected to speak at more length at a press conference having completed his blockbuster move.
The Argentinian was greeted by huge crowds as he landed in the French capital, waving to fans before briefly saying hello to supporters gathered at the Parc des Princes when he arrived.
The 34-year-old has put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal in the French capital, with the option of a further year.
PSG chairman Al-Khelaifi and sporting director Leonardo moved swiftly to persuade Messi to move to Paris after Barcelona’s initial announcement last Thursday, before reaching a full agreement over his contract on Tuesday.
Messi, who broke down in tears at his Barcelona farewell press conference, insisted he had not wanted to leave the Catalan club, having spent 21 years at Camp Nou, after his arrival at the age of 13.
“We were convinced we were continuing here, at home,” declared the man who scored 672 goals in 778 games for Barca, lifting 35 trophies.
“I did all that I could to stay, because I wanted to stay.”
However, despite offering to cut his salary in half, he was ultimately forced to depart, confirming that Barcelona could not comply with La Liga’s salary limits following years of dismal financial mismanagement while under the stewardship of former president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
“All I know is that it wasn’t to be because of the league, the club’s debt and the club didn’t want to get more into debt,” he added. By Spanish law, he could not drop his salary any lower than 50 per cent.
It’s understood Messi has signed a contract that will see him paid £22million (€25m) per season by the French powerhouse, plus a £22million signing on fee, as they chase their Champions League dream.
The move to the Parc des Princes sees six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi reunite with close friend Neymar, with whom he spent three years alongside at Barcelona before his £200million move to PSG in 2017, and whom he tried to persuade the Catalans to re-sign in 2019.