PARIS (Reuters) – Lionel Messi said on Wednesday he was delighted to sign for French club Paris Saint-Germain and was ready to help the team win their first-ever Champions League title.
The Argentine striker had agreed to stay at his old club Barcelona after his contract expired at the end of June, but the Spanish club admitted last week that it could not pay his salary without breaching Spanish football’s financial regulations.
On Tuesday he signed Two-year contract with a third option with the Parisians.
“That’s why I’m here,” Messi said. “It’s an ambitious club.” He will wear the number 30, which was his first Barcelona first-team number in 2006, at a press conference.
“Obviously they are willing to fight for everything.”
“My dream is to win the Champions League again, And I think this is the perfect place to do that.”
The Argentine admitted he does not know when he will be able to make his debut, given that he has not played since winning the America’s Cup with his country last month.
“I’ll be back from vacation. I need a little preparation for the season and keep going. I hope I can debut soon, but I can’t decide on a date. It’s up to the coaches.”
madness among fans
Many are wondering how PSG can afford to sign Messi while respecting UEFA’s rules on Financial Fair Play (FFP). But the club’s president and CEO, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who was sitting alongside Messi, insisted that the deal was within his financial means.
“We’ve always been interested in financial fair play,” he said. “It’s the first thing we check with the commercial, financial and legal department to see if we can do that before anyone signs.”
“I think the media should focus on the positives and not just the negatives of these signings, but what he brings to the table. It’s an incredible asset to the club.”
Al-Khelaifi supported the thousands of enthusiastic fans who gathered outside the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, beating drums, waving flags and chanting Messi’s name.
“I am so grateful to the people, it was crazy,” Messi said.
“I was in Barcelona and people were already on the streets. I want to thank them and we will enjoy it a lot. I hope it will be a good year for them and on a sporting level as well.”
“Why do I love him? Because he makes us dream. He is a magician and a genius,” Nelson Dross, 17, a Paris Saint-Germain fan told Reuters.
“He is the best player in the world,” said 19-year-old Sofyan Achi. We want him to win the Champions League with PSG. ”
Messi cried, Sunday, when he bid farewell to the Barcelona fans, the club he has been a member of since he was 13 years old, and admitted that despite his sadness, he wanted to face the new challenge and hoped for it. They understand his decision.
“Before I left I told the Barcelona fan. I will always be grateful. This is my home. I lived many things there,” he said.
“Barcelona fans knew that I would join a good club, that I would fight for the Champions League, because they know me, I love to win, I am a winner and I want to continue to do so.”
“They knew I was going to a strong team. They know me, they know I love to win. I want to keep achieving goals. I don’t know if we’ll face each other, if that happens, on the one hand, it would be great to come back to Barcelona. And on the other hand.” It would be very rare to play at home in another shirt again. But this is football and it can happen.”
(Reporting by Sudeep Kar-Gupta; Editing by Richard Love; Editing by Alison Williams; Translated by Thomas Cobos)
(Video) Messi’s first day as a player in Paris Saint-Germain
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