Lionel Messi and his wife Antonella have flown to Paris to complete his free transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain this Tuesday. Rumours had emerged overnight that Barcelona had made a last-ditch offer to retain their talisman, but they were unsuccessful. An announcement is imminent.
Messi will sign a two-year contract according to Fabrizio Romano, with the option to extend until June 2024. He’ll be paid €35m net per season including add-ons. It’s a move that’s sent shockwaves through the European game, undoubtedly the story of the summer if not the story of the entire year.
This time, he is on his way for sure! I still can’t believe it! This is incredible. The greatest player of all time, in my city, in my club. Welcome to Paris Lionel Messi! ❤️💙🔴🔵 pic.twitter.com/F6ht0rGJJ7
— Julien Laurens (@LaurensJulien) August 10, 2021
Messi was welcomed like royalty when he arrived in the French capital, greeting a delighted multitude who gathered for him as if he was a king. It was the same story outside his hotel in the centre of the city, with the streets thronged with fans in full voice hoping to catch a glimpse of their soon-to-be-new signing.
He, Antonella and their three children also waved at the fans from their balcony once they’d checked into the Hotel Monceau. They’re expected to stay there until they find a house in the city. He then made his way over to his new theatre, the Parc des Princes, for his presentation, which is expected later this evening.
🇫🇷⚽️ 🤯 ¡Locura en París!
👋 Messi se asoma a saludar a los aficionados desde el Hotel Monceau
— El Larguero (@ellarguero) August 10, 2021
Despite his age – Messi turned 34 over the summer – he’s still the best player in the world. The Argentine led his country to the Copa America last month, beating Brazil in Rio de Janeiro in the final to secure their first title since 1993. Messi won player of the tournament, contributing four goals and five assists.
His move to PSG won’t affect his international commitments by any means. First off, he was spotted wearing a pair of Argentina shorts while greeting fans from the balcony. Then, TyC Sports, reported by Roy Nemer, claimed that Messi has a clause inserted into his soon-to-be-signed PSG contract assuring that the Argentine national team would be his priority when it came to playing official matches and friendlies. Argentina’s staff will also have access to PSG’s facilities according to the terms. Messi isn’t done yet; he’s going for the 2022 World Cup with all his might.
You can take Lionel Messi out of Argentina but you can't take Argentina out of Lionel Messi. pic.twitter.com/sJDsVgJzb9
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) August 10, 2021