Lionel Messi explains why he joined PSG on free transfer after Barcelona exit

The Argentine has penned a two-year contract with the French club after ending his 21-year association with Barcelona

Jack Rathborn
Tuesday 10 August 2021 21:37
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Lionel Messi has explained that Paris Saint-Germain’s “vision” convinced him to join after departing Barcelona on a free transfer.

The Argentine’s 21-year association with the Catalan club ended after his contract expired this summer.

And the 34-year-old has now penned a two-year deal with the Ligue 1 club to form a third of one of the most dangerous attacking trios in European football history alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.

Messi explained that PSG’s “ambition” and his familiarity with the squad, with several international colleagues, convinced him to join Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

“I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain,” he said in an official statement.

“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.”

Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Chairman and CEO of Paris Saint-Germain said: “I am delighted that Lionel Messi has chosen to join Paris Saint-Germain and we are proud to welcome him and his family to Paris.

“He has made no secret of his desire to continue competing at the very highest level and winning trophies, and naturally our ambition as a club is to do the same.

“The addition of Leo to our world class squad continues a very strategic and successful transfer window for the club. Led by our outstanding coach and his staff, I look forward to the team making history together for our fans all around the world.”

Messi’s debut could come this weekend when PSG host Strasbourg on Saturday night, 14 August, with kick-off scheduled for 20:00 BST at the Parc des Princes.

PSG are perfect after one game of the Ligue campaign, having edged past Troyes in the opener, with Achraf Hakimi and Mauro Icardi replying to Oualid El Hajjam's opener for the hosts.

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