PSG president says world will be ‘shocked’ by revenues from Messi signing

PARIS, FRANCE – AUGUST 10: Lionel Messi poses with the Paris Saint-Germain jersey after signing a 2 year contract at Parc des Princes on August 10, 2021 in Paris, France.

Photo by Paris Saint-Germain Football/PSG via Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain President Nasser Al-Khelaifi says the world will be “shocked” by the financial revenues generated by the club’s signing of global soccer superstar Lionel Messi.

Messi signed a two-year deal with PSG, with an option for a third, that will net him an annual salary of $41 million plus bonuses and a reported $30 million signing fee.

The signing is expected to bring a windfall of commercial revenues, through such avenues as jersey sales. When Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Italian giants Juventus in 2018, more than $60 million worth of his shirts were sold in just 24 hours.

Speaking at a press conference for Messi’s unveiling as a PSG player on Wednesday, Al Khelaifi suggested the club may release more precise figures behind the deal at a later date, but told reporters that they would be “shocked, honestly, at the numbers we have.”

“I just hope [Messi] will not ask for more salary,” he joked.

Messi left FC Barcelona last week after financial rules imposed by Spain’s La Liga made it fiscally impossible for the troubled club to follow through on his five-year contract agreement.

The 34-year-old Argentine broke down in tears when bidding farewell to Barcelona on Monday, and told Wednesday’s press conference that the past week had been an “emotional rollercoaster.”

He has won FIFA’s player of the year award and the European Golden Shoe for the continent’s top scorer a record six times each, and departed Barcelona after two decades with the Catalan club, in which he contributed 672 goals in all competitions and won 34 trophies.

Messi — considered by many to be the greatest soccer player of all time — will line up at PSG alongside his former Barcelona teammate, Brazilian superstar Neymar, and 22-year-old French phenom Kylian Mbappé, to form a formidable front three at the Parisian giants.

Along with looking to regain the French Ligue 1 title, PSG is seeking an elusive first UEFA Champions League crown, having fallen to Manchester City in the semi-final last year. Owners Qatar Sports Investment have spent extravagantly to build a star-studded squad in the hopes of dominating European football.

“I’m really looking forward to getting out there in the field and my hopes of winning remain intact, and that is the reason why I am here,” Messi told the press conference.

“I want to win another Champions League and I think I’m in the right place to do that.”

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