Lionel Messi Officially Made The Move To Paris Saint-Germain

Lionel Messi Officially Made The Move To Paris Saint-Germain

Lionel Messi became a Paris Saint-Germain player on Tuesday after days of speculation following the news that he would leave FC Barcelona. The greatest player of his generation arrived in the French capital earlier in the day and was officially unveiled at the Parc de Princes after the club teased the move on its social media accounts throughout the day.

“I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain,” Messi said in a statement. “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’s first press conference with the club will occur on Wednesday, and ESPN reports that his two-year contract with an option for a third year is expected to pay him somewhere in the range of €30-35 million. With the No. 10 shirt that he wore at Barcelona belonging to Neymar, Messi will wear the number 30 as a member of the Parisians.

The move comes less than a week after it was announced that the ongoing financial crisis at Barcelona, the only club for which the Argentine has played in his professional career, would make it untenable for Messi to stick around. Immediately after the announcement, PSG was viewed as the betting favorite to acquire his services. The club’s financial might, aspirations to win Champions League (which Messi shares), and collection of players with whom Messi is familiar — Neymar was a teammate at Barcelona; while Mauro Icardi, Angel Di Maria, and Leandro Paredes are national team compatriots — made it a natural fit.

PSG’s made a habit of bringing in talent regardless of whomever else is on its roster, but while the team has Neymar and Kylian Mbappe as the fulcrums of its attack, Messi is the kind of player for whom any sort of pre-determined plan goes out the window. The trio should, in theory, work in any sort of left-to-right orientation, as all three are chance creation monsters who are more than capable of setting up or finishing opportunities as they see fit. The team spent plenty of money this summer, largely on free transfers, to build up a squad fully capable of winning Champions League, the final trophy that has evaded the Parisians since Qatari Sports Investments acquired it back in 2011. Messi, meanwhile, has failed to lift that trophy since 2015.

Questions still exist in defense (particularly when teams opt to attack down the left channel) and in the midfield (which has plenty of talent but needs to figure out how it wants to play and whether that is the optimal way to use whatever talent it has on hand). But if those things figure themselves out — and, to be clear, the overwhelming likelihood is that they will — PSG is going to be the clear-cut favorite to win every single trophy it sets out to win this year. He’s been a player PSG has wanted to land for years, and now, that’s coming to fruition and we’ll get to see whether all that work will be worth it.

“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,” PSG chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi said in a statement. “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.”