Flares, flags, chants: PSG fans celebrate the arrival of Messi-ah
- Lionel Messi joined PSG on a 2-year deal with an one-year extension
- Messi was presented by club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi to the supporters
- He will wear the No 30 jersey at PSG
Ligue 1 club Paris Saint Germain's (PSG) fans outside the Parc des Princes stadium were all set to celebrate the arrival of Lionel Messi, as the Argentine walked out after signing a two-year contract. In Messi, the French outfit finds just the perfect partner to the prolific Neymar-Mbappe duo.
Messi was presented by club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi to the supporters. In a video uploaded by PSG on social media, fans can be seen going wild as the former Barcelona skipper showed his jersey.
Messi, on Tuesday night, admitted that he is very happy since the time he arrived in France to join the nine-time Ligue 1 champions. Addressing the press on Wednesday at his introductory news conference at Parc des Princes stadium, Messi said, "It’s been a very hard move after so many years, it was a difficult change after so much time, but the moment I arrived here I felt very happy."
“I’m going to play with best players, it’s very nice, it’s incredible to be able to experience this," he added.
No salary details were given, but a person with knowledge of the negotiations earlier told The Associated Press that Messi is set to earn around 35 million euros ($41 million) net annually. The person said on condition of anonymity before the contract was signed.
Messi became the most high-profile free agent in soccer history after his attempts to stay at Barcelona were rejected last week by the Spanish league because the salary would not comply with financial regulations, with the Catalan club burdened by debts of more than 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion).
Messi will wear the No 30 jersey — the same number he wore in his first two seasons with Barcelona before switching to No. 19 and then the prized No. 10, which Neymar gets to keep at PSG.
Messi is expected to be presented to fans in the Parc des Princes stadium before the kickoff of Saturday night’s game against Strasbourg.
Having won every major honour with Barcelona, Messi was granted a tearful exit news conference on Sunday. PSG will be hoping not only that Messi helps the team regain the French title it lost to Lille last season but finally win the Champions League.
“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,” Messi said after signing the contract.
“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. 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,” PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi said.