Argentina football legend Lionel Messi has agreed to join Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year contract after leaving Barcelona where he spent 21 years. Messi’s deal includes Rs. 250 crore of annual fee after tax and bonuses.
Messi chose to leave Barcelona after the club could not afford him even after the footballer accepted a 50% pay cut.
Messin, the winner of Ballon d’Or for six years, had two more options but decided to accept the offer made by the PSG. The globally celebrated footballer said that he had done everything in his capacity to extend his stay at Barcelona but the club’s financial handicaps meant that the Argentine player had to look for his future beyond Spain.
One of the reasons why Messi may have accepted the PSG’s offer was because this would give him an opportunity to reunite with his old Barcelona colleague, Neymar. Together, both players won two La Liga titles, three Copa del Reys and the Champions League.
Messi had become emotional during a press conference last weekend after leaving Barcelona. Answering a question on his move to the PSG, he had said, “That is one possibility, to reach those heights. I had a lot of calls, a lot of interested clubs. At the moment, nothing is closed, but we are talking about a lot of things.”
Regarded as one of the all-time football greats, Messi has scored a record 672 goals in 778 games for Barca. He had joined the Spanish champion club at the age of 13 and never represented any other teams other than Barcelona during his career.
The PSG, which is owned by Qatari company Qatar Sports Investments, is desperately looking to win the coveted Champions League. The Paris-based club has not won the European title for a decade since it went under the control of a Qatari owner.
Last year, the PSG was beaten by Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. In the last edition of the Champions League, the PSG had lost to Manchester City in the semi-final. Chelsea had gone on to win the Champions League by defeating Manchester City in the final.