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.
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) August 10, 2021
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.
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. Whizzing around the city in an ample motorcade and with a heavy police presence, one observer tweeted that the Argentine was “moving around Paris like he’s the president of the United States”. 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.
…and here’s Leo Messi at Parc des Princes. New Paris Saint-Germain player, number 3️⃣0️⃣. #Messi
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 10, 2021
He, Antonella and their three children also waved at 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, to change into his gear and take to the field; PSG released the official unveiling video, a dramatic number, at around 21:15 GMT. He’ll wear the number 30, the number he wore first at Barcelona, and leave Neymar keep his number ten.