Argentine star Lionel Messi was very clear in defining his main goal with his new team, Paris Saint-Germain, which is to win the Champions League again, to give the Paris club management a new impetus in the direction of achieving this dream that it has been seeking since 2011.
After the shocking announcement made by Barcelona last Thursday, and contrary to all expectations that Messi would not renew as a result of the salary cap rules imposed by the Spanish League, which would have threatened the club’s budget, according to what its president, Joan Laporta, said, things accelerated, and Saint-Germain was the biggest beneficiary by including the 34-year-old on Tuesday. in a free transfer deal.
Now, after he wore the Barcelona shirt for 21 years and won all possible titles with him, Messi begins a new era in the French capital with shirt No. 30 instead of No. 10. Sitting next to Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Messi said in the press conference yesterday, “I said that my dream is to win a title Another in the Champions League, and I think it’s (Saint-Germain) the perfect place to get the chance to do that.”
Messi crowned his last fourth title in the continental competition in 2015 with Barcelona, while Saint-Germain is looking for the title for the first time and for this reason it has been one of the most consolidating teams since the transfer of ownership to Qatar for Sports Investments in 2011.
On Tuesday, Messi signed his two-year contract with Saint-Germain, with an option to extend for a third year, after separating from Barcelona, with whom he won all possible titles, including 10 in the Spanish League and four in the Champions League out of 35 in all competitions.
Pochettino’s presence played its part in Messi’s decision
There has been renewed talk in the past hours about the possibility of Messi’s arrival at the “Parc des Princes” facilitating Mbappe’s departure to Real Madrid, and the Spanish newspaper “AS” titled “Mbappe, it is possible.”
But for Khelifi, what Mbappe, who moved to the capital club in 2017 from Monaco, demands from a team capable of winning all possible titles is now a reality with the accession of Messi, who will meet again with his former Barcelona colleague Neymar, and will play under the supervision of his compatriot Mauricio Pochettino.
In his press conference, Messi touched on playing again with Neymar after they were together in the Catalan club from 2013 to 2017, before the Brazilian joined Saint-Germain in a record deal of 222 million euros, saying, “Neymar and I know each other well. I hope we can be stronger together along with all our teammates.” As for playing under the supervision of his compatriot Pochettino, he said, “I know coach Mauricio Pochettino well. And being Argentine, he made a lot of things easier from the start. And that was important to my decision.”
Sadness and suffering turn into “joy”
Messi said during his presentation at the “Parc des Princes” stadium that he was “very happy” to join Saint-Germain, adding, “I look forward to meeting my colleagues, the staff, and to start this new stage,” adding that it was “very difficult for me” to leave Barcelona “after This is a long period.”
He continued in this regard, “There was sadness and suffering, and all of this turned into joy and happiness with my joining Saint Germain. Change is difficult after 21 years in Barcelona and I now live in happy moments of joining Paris Saint-Germain.”
Al-Khelaifi welcomed the best player in the world six times, saying, “I am delighted that Lionel Messi has chosen to join Paris Saint-Germain, and we are proud to welcome him to Paris with his family.”
“We will not disappoint the Paris Saint-Germain fans, as we are creating a historic moment and the serious work begins now,” he added.
And he addressed the issue of the capital club’s top scorer, Kylian Mbappe, who has not yet renewed his contract (expiring in the summer of 2022), saying that “Killian Parisi is very competitive and he wants a team capable of competing, and now, there is no more competitive team (than Saint-Germain). He has no excuse to do anything else (other than stay with the team).”
Saint-Germain appears to be an invincible team this season, at least on paper, after it strengthened its ranks with Real Madrid captain, central defender Sergio Ramos in a free transfer deal, and Dutch captain Georginio Wijnaldum and Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in two free transfer deals also after the expiration of their contracts with Liverpool and Milan, respectively. And Moroccan star Achraf Hakimi from Inter Milan, Italy.
Certainly, the financial strength of Saint-Germain and the relaxation of the rules of financial fair play for the European Football Association (UEFA), opened the door for the French capital club to achieve these deals, most notably Messi.
“We respect the rules of financial fair play and are committed to the regulations,” Al-Khelaifi stressed, adding, “What we do in Saint-Germain is reflected outside it, especially in the French capital.”
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