Lionel Messi signs two-year contract with PSG
KATHMANDU : Lionel Messi finally signed his eagerly anticipated Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) contract on Tuesday night to complete the move that confirms the end of a career-long association with Barcelona and sends PSG into a new era, according to Aljazeera.
PSG said in a statement that the 34-year-old Argentina star signed a two-year deal with the option for a third season.
“I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain,” Messi said, according to Aljazeera.
“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.”
No salary details were given but Messi is set to earn approximately 35 million euros ($41m) net, according to the Associated Press news agency, who spoke to a person with knowledge of the negotiations on condition of anonymity before the contract was signed according to Aljazeera.
“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 Nasser Al-Khelaifi said.
“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.”
According to Aljazeera, Messi will wear the number 30, as revealed in a video by the club, the number he had when he began his professional career at Barcelona between 2004-2006.
Throngs of PSG fans gathered at Le Bourget Airport in Paris to welcome Messi, who was wearing a T-shirt featuring “Ici c’est Paris” – “This is Paris.”
The words are a long-familiar refrain from a favoured fan chant at Parc des Princes stadium, where Messi is to be presented to them before kickoff of Saturday night’s game against Strasbourg.
Such was the fervour of his arrival that police had to push back to stop metal barriers from toppling over at the airport as fans surged forward to get a better view. He then travelled into Paris with a police escort that included several officers on motorbikes and clad in black at the back of it.
As disbelief at landing one of football’s all-time greats turned to sheer enthusiasm, many gathered for a glimpse of Messi at the stadium. They got their wish as the smiling superstar briefly waved to them before he underwent a medical check.
Earlier, Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, had also confirmed his son was moving to PSG in a brief exchange with reporters at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport before taking his flight in the early afternoon.
According to Aljazeera, Messi arrived with his wife and three children and boarded a private jet.