Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed the signing of Lionel Messi on a free transfer following the expiration of his Barcelona contract.
The move brings Messi’s legendary spell at Barça to an end. Joining the club aged 13, he would go on to make just shy of 800 appearances in all competitions, scoring 672 goals and providing 305 assists. Along the way he helped his side win four Champions Leagues, 10 La Liga titles and a host of other honours. He has also been awarded the Ballon d’Or a record six times.
Barça were desperate to keep him around but due to their perilous financial situation they were unable to extend his contract.
Their loss is PSG’s gain, with the Ligue 1 side confirming Messi’s arrival on Tuesday evening. Earlier in the day La Pulga was greeted by hundreds of adoring fans at Le Bourget airport and the club teased his official unveiling with a string of videos posted on social media.
“I am impatient to start a new chapter of my career in Paris,” Messi told PSG’s website. “The club and its vision are in perfect harmony with my ambitions. I know how talented the players and staff are here. I am determined to build, alongside them, something great for the club and for the fans. I can’t wait to set foot on the Parc des Princes pitch.”
Messi has agreed a two-year deal in Paris and he joins a squad already filled to the brim with top talent. Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarumma have also joined on free transfers this summer, while Achraf Hakimi arrived from Inter.
It is not yet clear when Messi will make his debut for PSG. However, as he has not been training with Barcelona since returning from the Copa America, fans may have to wait until the Parisians’ clash with Clermont Foot on 12 September.