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Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed the signing of Lionel Messi after the Argentina captain’s contract at Barcelona expired earlier this summer.
Messi has signed a two-year contract with the Ligue 1 side, with the option of extending for a further year. Sources told ESPN’s Julien Laurens that Messi is expected to earn between €30-35 million ($35-41 million) net a year.
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“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 said in a statement.
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PSG will hold a news conference on Wednesday at 11 a.m. CEST (5 a.m. ET) to formally introduce Messi. He arrived to the French capital on Tuesday via private plane and then completed his medical exam and visited Parc des Princes stadium.
Messi will wear No. 30 with PSG, which was his first number at Barcelona. Neymar, now reunited with his ex-Barca teammate, had offered the No. 10 but Messi refused. PSG asked for authorisation, as No. 30 is reserved for goalkeepers under league rules and was worn by Alexandre Letellier.
Hundreds of PSG fans waited for Messi’s arrival at the Bourget airport and at Parc des Princes, as well at Hotel Le Royal Monceau, where the player and family are staying. The hotel is the same location Neymar stayed when he completed his world-record €222 million move to PSG in 2017.
“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. “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, a six-time Ballon d’Or winner, had spent his entire career with the Catalan club, having joined their youth team in 2000, but Barcelona announced he would not be staying after they were unable to register his new contract because of financial constraints. His previous deal with the club expired on June 30.
He held a tearful farewell news conference on Sunday once his Barca exit had been confirmed.
Messi, 34, had agreed to a new five-year contract with Barca, but that would have meant the club’s wage bill stood at 110% of their revenue. Their spending cap with LaLiga has dropped from over €600 million in 2019-20 to an expected €200 million for the coming season, making it impossible to register Messi’s new deal, even with a pay cut. His previous terms included a base salary of around €70 million gross without bonuses.
Messi had told Sunday’s news conference that he had wanted to remain at Barca and had agreed to a 50% wage cut, but the club could not register him because of their failure to offload other players in time and reduce their high wage bill. He said he had received several calls from clubs since the news broke that he would not continue his 21-year association with Barca.
Messi scored a record 672 goals in 778 appearances for Barca, winning 10 LaLiga titles, the Copa del Rey seven times, the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup three times apiece and the Champions League on four occasions.
In July, he also won his first major international honour when he helped Argentina win the Copa America.