Lionel Messi has agreed to join Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year contract, and was snapped at Barcelona airport travelling to Paris earlier today, confirming his move to the French club as part of a £25m-a-year deal, according to sources.
A free agent when his old contract with his ‘home’ club Barcelona expired this summer Messi, the Argentine great was expected to extend his 21-year stay at Barcelona by signing a new contract.
But the high-in-debt Spanish club was unable to see the deal through on account of financial and structural roadblocks, which even a 50 percent wage cut agreed to by Messi was unable to overcome.
La Liga’s rules on club spending limits players’ benefits for the season to 70 percent of the club income. Messi’s last contract with Barcelona netted him north of $600 million, and a new contract requires to be at least 50 percent of the previous one, which still proved costly for Barcelona.
The 34-year-old champion said he wanted to ‘stay at home’ and ‘did everything’ he could to remain at Camp Nou. He had travelled to Barcelona expecting to agree on the details of the announcement of his new five-year deal, and he confirmed he offered to reduce his wages by 50 per cent.
That was not to be, as Barcelona confirmed their star player’s departure, when he returned to Catalonia from his holiday after a memorable Copa America victory.
In an emotional farewell speech, he talked about his life at the club he called home for 21 years, saying ‘We’d always made this our own, we were at home. We thought we would be staying here in Barcelona. But today, we have to say goodbye to all of this.’
Now all set to join PSG, with an early game against Strasbourg a possibility at his new home, he would be eyeing the Champions League with the French Club, and also looking forward to reunite with former Barca teammate Neymar, with whom he won two La Liga titles, three Copa del Reys and the Champions League.
Sergio Ramos with whom he has had a famous rivalry during Ramos’ time with Real Madrid, will now be his teammate at PSG, which could be an interesting sight on the field for football fans.
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