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Lionel Messi signs 2-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain

August 10, 2021

After ending an association with FC Barcelona that spanned more than two decades, the Argentinian said PSG "matches my football ambitions." The deal is worth around €35 million a year net and has an option to extend.

Lionel Messi waves while wearing a shirt that reads "Paris"
Lionel Messi's move confirmed the end of a career-long association with Barcelona Image: Francois Mori/AP/picture alliance

Argentinian football star Lionel Messi has signed a two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), with the option of an additional year, the French club said on Tuesday.

The forward announced last week he would be leaving Barcelona after a career spanning more than two decades at the La Liga club.

PSG revealed that Messi will wear the number 30 — the same number he had when he made his professional debut at Barcelona in 2004. Messi first arrived at the Catalan club four years earlier, as a 13-year-old. 

Qatar-backed PSG has not announced salary details, but according to a source cited by the AP news agency, Messi is set to earn around €35 million ($41 million) net annually. 

"[Messi] 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. 

What did Messi say?

Messi was greeted by hundreds of PSG supporters as he landed at Le Bourget airport to the north of Paris on Tuesday afternoon. He will be formally introduced as part of the team on Wednesday. 

Paris-Saint Germain supporters celebrate after Lionel Messi arrived at Le Bourget airport
Crowds of PSG supporters chanted and set off smoke flares in celebration of Messi's arrivalImage: Francois Mori/AP/picture alliance

"I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain," Messi said in a statement published on the French club's website.

"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."

The six-time Ballon d'Or-winner starts a new chapter at PSG after winning 34 titles in 16 seasons with Barcelona, including four Champions League and 10 La Liga crowns. 

'Back together'

Neymar, who played with Messi at Barcelona before moving to PSG in 2017, posted a video on Instagram of them hugging while playing for Barcelona. "Back together," Neymar said. 

Former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain star Ronaldinho gleefully posted on Twitter: "It's a great joy to have played in these two clubs and now see my friend wearing this shirt, may there be many moments of joy Leo!" 

PSG coach and fellow Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino can add Messi to his ever-burgeoning roster of talent after already bolstering his squad this summer with the signings of Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos and Georginio Wijnaldum.

But it is the diminutive Argentine that is the the "new diamond in Paris," according to the club's official Twitter account.

fb/jsi (AP, Reuters, dpa, AFP)