[시사포커스 / 이근우 기자] Lionel Messi (34) leaves FC Barcelona to join Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).
PSG announced on the club’s official website on the 11th (Korean time), “Messi has signed a two-year contract with a one-year extension option. We are delighted to announce the contract. Messi, who won the Ballon d’Or six times, is a legend and an example for everyone.”
On the 5th, Messi was forced to leave the club, where he had been at the club for 21 years, after failing to renew his contract with Barcelona. The Spanish La Liga lowered his salary by 50% due to the cap on the total salary, but he was not registered as a player.
Messi’s departure from Barcelona immediately sparked rumors of a transfer to PSG. PSG is a prestigious club in the league, and it has recruited expensive players such as Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, and it is a big club with abundant finances that can even cover Messi’s salary.
“The signing of Messi will boost the club’s aspirations and provide the club’s loyal fans with a great squad as well as amazing football for years to come,” PSG said.
After signing, Messi said: “I am happy to start a new career at PSG. Everything about the club fits into my football ambitions. I know how good this team’s players and coaching staff are. “I’m determined to try to do something special for the club and for the fans.”
Messi, who joined the Barcelona youth team in 2001 and debuted in the first team in 2004, recorded 672 goals and 305 assists in 778 La Liga games. He led La Liga 10 times, the UEFA Champions League 4 times, the Copa del Rey (Spain King’s Cup) 7 times, and the Club World Cup 3 times.
But now he has started his career at the new PSG. It is known that his annual salary was 35 million euros (about 47.2 billion won) and he was assigned the number 30 jersey, which Messi wore when he debuted in Barcelona.
Meanwhile, PSG Chairman Nasser Al Khelaifi said: “I am delighted to have Messi join PSG and I am proud to welcome him and his family to Paris. He wants to compete at the highest level and compete for the championship trophy. Of course, our ambitions as a club are the same.”