- Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain have completed the signing of former Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.
- Messi left Barca after a shocking turn of events precluded the two signs from finalizing a previously agreed upon deal.
- Messi signed a two year deal and will wear number 30 with PSG.
Lionel Messi is officially a member of Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). The deal was finalized on Tuesday and Messi was formally introduced by PSG management on Wednesday. Financial terms weren’t released by the team though Sky Sports reported that the contract is worth a cool $104 million USD. According to Sky Sports, Messi will get £25m ($34.6 million USD) per season and a third year option worth £25m ($34.6 million USD). In addition, PSG was on the hook for £25m ($34.6 million USD) as a signing bonus when the contract was finalized.
PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi was clearly stoked to add the best soccer player in the world to his team’s roster:
“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. 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 should quickly get comfortable with his new team–Neymar is a former teammate at Barcelona while Angel Di Maria, Leandro Paredes and Mauro Icardi have played with Messi on the Argentina national team. Messi will wear jersey number 30 with PSG:
Messi gave this quote in a statement released by the team:
“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 had agreed to a significant wage reduction to remain with Barcelona in hopes of making his five year contract work under La Liga salary cap rules. He reportedly agreed to take a 50% cut in pay to remain with the team but Barcelona was still unable to make it work financially. As late as Monday night, there were reports that Barca and Messi were in communication hoping to work out an 11th hour solution. Messi made it clear at his departure press conference that he didn’t want to leave Barcelona:
“I am really sad because I didn’t want to leave because this is the club I love. I didn’t expect this. I have never lied; I have always been honest and upfront. Last year I wanted to leave; this year I didn’t. That’s why I am so sad.”
Word is that English Premier League teams Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur also extended offers to Messi but he opted to join a host of familiar faces on a loaded PSG team. PSG is now favored to win the Champions League and an overwhelming favorite to win their 8th Ligue 1 title in 10 years. Here’s the top of the betting table to win the Champions League and the odds to win Ligue 1–both are from BetOnline.ag:
ODDS TO WIN UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
PSG +300 Manchester City +350 Bayern Munich +650 Chelsea +750 Liverpool +800 Manchester United +1200 Real Madrid +1600 Barcelona +2000 Juventus +2000
ODDS TO WIN LIGUE 1 2021/2022
PSG -700 Lyon +1200 Lille +1400 Monaco +1400 Marseille +2000 Nice +5000 Rennes +6600 Lens +8000 Montpellier +8000 Nantes +25000 Metz +50000 St. Etienne +50000 Bordeaux +75000 Lorient +75000 Reims +75000 Strasbourg +75000 Clermont Foot +100000 Angers +150000 Troyes +150000 Brest +200000
Messi isn’t expected to play against RC Strasbourg Alsace this weekend though he will almost certainly make an appearance before an anticipated full house at Parc des Princes. PSG opened the 2021-2022 Ligue 1 schedule last Saturday with a 2-1 comeback win against newly promoted Troyes at Stade de l’Aube.