It’s official: Lionel Messi signs two-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain
Argentine football star Lionel Messi finally signed a two-year deal with French League club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) after flying to Paris on Tuesday to finalize his transfer. Crowds of PSG supporters had gathered at the airport and chanted out “Messi! Messi!” to welcome the player. 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.
Lionel Messi has set his sights on more Champions League glory after being unveiled as a Paris Saint-Germain. The 34-year-old Argentinian superstar was presented to media from all over the world at a news conference at the Parc des Princes after arriving in the French capital the previous day and penning a two-year contract with the option of a third season. PSG quickly emerged as the favorites to sign Messi following the shock of his departure last week from Barcelona and he arrives eyeing a fifth Champions League, with the most recent of his four victories with his old club coming in 2015.
"I have said many times that my dream is to win another Champions League and I think I am in the ideal place to have that chance and to do it," Messi told reporters inside a packed auditorium, with the audience including his wife Antonella, their children, and his father and agent, Jorge.
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.
“I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain. Everything about the club matches my football ambitions,” Messi said Tuesday in a statement.
“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.”Messi already is in Paris and will be formally introduced as part of the team Wednesday. Messi registered 25 goals and 21 assists in 33 matches (starts) for Barcelona in La Liga play in 2019-20, then had 30 goals and nine assists in 35 matches (33 starts) in 2020-21.
The arrival of Barcelona’s all-time record scorer with 682 goals will boost PSG’s ambitions to win the Champions League for the first time. Messi won four Champions League titles while at Barcelona, as well as 10 La Liga titles.