Lionel Messi is officially a Paris Saint-Germain player.
The Argentina superstar, who left Barcelona as a free agent after 21 years last week, has joined the Ligue 1 giants on a two-year deal with the option of a third.
It is understood he has signed a deal worth around £30million-a-year at the Parc des Princes.
A statement from the club read: “Paris Saint-Germain is delighted to announce the signing of Leo Messi on a two-year contract with an option of a third year.
“The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is justifiably considered a legend of the game and a true inspiration for those of all ages inside and outside football.
“The signing of Leo reinforces Paris Saint-Germain’s aspirations as well as providing the club’s loyal fans with not only an exceptionally talented squad, but also moments of incredible football in the coming years.”
The 34-year-old, who scored 672 goals in 778 appearances for the Catalan giants, headed for France on Tuesday two days after bidding a tearful farewell to the club he had helped win 35 trophies after the two parties were unable to agree a contract extension which satisfied LaLiga’s financial regulations.
Messi said: “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.”
PSG quickly emerged as a frontrunner for his signature and Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules appeared to be no obstacle.
He will link up with former teammate Neymar, compatriot Angel Di Maria, and old rival Sergio Ramos in France.
Messi has signed until June 2023, with the option of a further year.
The icon left Barcelona after 21 years at the club and a remarkable 672 goals in 778 games.
He won an incredible 34 trophies, including 10 LaLiga titles and the Champions League four times.
The Spanish giants were unable to meet La Liga’s spending limits, despite insisting both player and club moved heaven and earth to strike a deal.
Laporta told the media: “We had been negotiating for two months. The first agreement was to sign for two years and pay him over a five-year period. Then we moved on to a five-year contract, which Leo also accepted.
“The negotiation with Messi is over. The agreements could not be formalised. There is no salary margin and LaLiga is not flexible in terms of extending that limit. We have to move on.”
LaLiga dictates that player wages cannot exceed 70 per cent of overall club revenue – and Barca’s was at 110 per cent due to the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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