Lionel Messi has signed a long-term contract with Paris Saint-Germain, ending his long association with FC Barcelona.
The French giants announced in a statement that the Argentine superstar will sign a two-year contract “with a third-year option.”
“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 in the 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 arrived in Paris earlier on Tuesday, and the club teased his arrival on social media with a short video that shows Messi’s Argentina jersey and the six Ballon d’Or trophies he has won in his career.
“Back Together,” Neymar, who played with Messi at Barça and now plays for PSG, wrote on Instagram in a story.
PSG will hope that the reunion of two of the world’s greatest players will help them win Europe’s top tournament for the first time. Barcelona last won the Champions League in 2015 when Messi and Neymar were playing together, and PSG will hope that the reunion of two of the world’s greatest players will help them win Europe’s top tournament for the first time.
PSG Chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi said in the statement, “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’s made no secret of his desire to compete at the highest level and win trophies, and it’s only natural that we want to do the same as a club.
“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.”
Messi’s move to Paris brings an end to his historic 20-year stay at Barcelona.
The Argentine, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, was unable to re-sign with Barcelona.
Despite reaching an agreement, Barcelona said it could not give Messi a new contract due to the club’s dire financial situation and La Liga’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.
The 34-year-previous old’s contract, which expired at the end of June, was reported to be worth $672 million by Spanish newspaper El Mundo, making him the highest-paid athlete in sports history.
Last year, Messi expressed his desire to leave the Catalan club, but he decided to stay because he had no intention of going to court to challenge the club’s decision and prolonging a legal battle.
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In a tearful press conference on Sunday, the club’s all-time leading scorer reflected on his illustrious career at Barcelona, which included four Champions League titles and ten La Liga titles.
“I gave my all for this club for this shirt, from the first day I arrived to the last,” he said.
“And the truth is that I am more than satisfied. I would have liked to say goodbye in a different way. I never imagined my farewell this way.”