Lionel Messi has joined a star-studded Paris St Germain (PSG) squad after leaving Barcelona, the club where he had started and hoped to end his career.
Messi, a six-time Ballon d’Or winner for being Europe’s best footballer, has signed a two-year contract with the option of a third, the club said in a statement on its website.
The arrival of the Argentinian, one of the best players of his generation, will add to an already formidable attack by PSG that includes Brazilian Neymar and French world champion Kylian Mbappé.
“I am delighted to start a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain,” PSG quoted Messi in the statement. “I am determined to help build something special for the club and the fans, and I can’t wait to step onto the playing field at Parc des Princes.”
The arrival of Barcelona’s top scorer, with 672 goals, will heighten Qatari-owned PSG’s ambition to win the prestigious and profitable European Champions League for the first time.
“He has made no secret of his desire to continue competing at the highest level and winning titles, and naturally our ambition as a club is to do the same,” said PSG President and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
PSG wasted little time targeting Messi after the heavily indebted Catalan club made it clear that it could not afford to keep the Argentine star in its ranks due to La Liga’s financial fair play rules.
Crowds of supporters flocked to the club’s Parc des Princes stadium, chanting and lighting smoke flares. “It’s going to be crazy. After all, a legend is coming,” said fan Florent Chauveau.