Lionel Messi has finally signed his eagerly anticipated Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) contract to complete the move that confirms the end of a career-long association with Barcelona and sends PSG into a new era.

PSG said in a statement that the 34-year-old Argentina star signed a two-year deal on Tuesday night with the option for a third season.

No salary details were given but Messi is set to earn approximately 35 million euros ($41m) net, according to the Associated Press news agency, who spoke to a person with knowledge of the negotiations on condition of anonymity before the contract was signed.

Throngs of PSG fans gathered at Le Bourget Airport in Paris to welcome Messi, who was wearing a T-shirt that read: “Ici c’est Paris” (This is Paris).

Such was the fan fervour around his arrival that police had to push back to stop metal barriers from toppling over at the airport as fans surged forward to get a better view. He then traveled into Paris with a police escort that included several black-clad officers on motorbikes.

As disbelief at landing one of football’s all-time greats turned to sheer enthusiasm, many gathered for a glimpse of Messi at the stadium. They got their wish as the smiling superstar briefly waved to them before he began his medical checkup.

Earlier, Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, had also confirmed his son was moving to PSG in a brief exchange with reporters at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport in the early afternoon.

Messi arrived with his wife and three children and boarded a private jet.

Messi and the PSG officials faced the press today.

Here are the excerpts:

“Barcelona is my home, I have been there since I was a kid and I’ve lived so many things there,” said Messi.

“I don’t know if we are going to face each other – it would be very nice to go back to Barcelona. It will be very strange to play at home there in Barcelona with another shirt but it can happen and we will see.”

“My exit from Barcelona has been a difficult change but the moment I arrived here, I’ve been very happy.”

“I’ve enjoyed my time in Paris from the first minute.”

“The team here is incredible. There have been some amazing signings.”

“This will be an unbelievable experience for me. I do not know when I will first be able to play and I might need some pre-season conditioning first.”

“I am very grateful that such complicated negotiations were made so easy. Truly! I feel this club is ready to fight for every title.”

“I am really grateful to the people in the street. I was in Barcelona when the press reported that people were already out in the streets.”

“It is incredible. I want to thank them and I want to see them in the city and the stadium. It will be an incredible year.”

Regarding Neymar, Messi said,” Neymar and I know each other very well. I hope we will be stronger together and with all our teammates.”

“This team is ready. There are some new transfers, but they have been close and are ready. I have just come here to help.”

“My dream is to win this trophy again and I think Paris is the best place to do so.”

“The coaching staff and the squad had a lot to do with me choosing this club,” said Messi.

“I know the coach Mauricio Pochettino very well. The fact that he is Argentinean helped from the start, it was important in my decision making.”

PSG’s president, Nasser al-Khelaifi, said, “This is an amazing and historic day for football and the club,” says PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who looks very happy.”

“Everyone knows Leo – he is the only football player to win 6 Ballons d’Ors. It will be very exciting for our supporters and fans worldwide.”

“We are always attentive to financial fair play,” he said. “It’s the first thing we check with the commercial, financial and legal people to see if we can do it before signing someone.

Khelaifi said people would be “shocked” by the financial revenues Messi would bring the club, though he quipped, “I hope Leo will not ask for more salary.”

Messi admitted he had considered the prospect of having to face Barcelona if PSG are drawn against them in the Champions League.

Khelaifi believes Messi’s arrival will be decisive in keeping the 22-year-old France striker Kylian Mbappe, whose contract expires next year.

“He wanted a competitive team and I think we have the most competitive in the world so there is no excuse for him now, he can’t do anything else but stay,” he said.


“I think the media need to focus on the positives and not just the negatives of these moves, but what positives he brings. He’s an unbelievable asset to the club.”

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