Days after Barcelona president Joan Laporta confessed that the Catalan club couldn't afford to keep him, the world's best player joined Qatar-funded Paris St Germain.
Lionel's private jet landed in Paris on Tuesday afternoon to undergo a physical examination and finalize his move to the French club on a two-year contract worth £25 million per year after taxes and bonuses, with a third-year option.
Messi was supposed to prolong his affiliation by five years with Barca but Laporta was unable to give Messi a new deal due to Barça's $1.4 billion debt and the Spanish league's tough regulations against overspending.
Humble Beginnings with BarcaOne day back in 2000, a 13-year-old Argentinian with the size of a typical nine-year-old was allowed a trial training session by Barcelona. Within five minutes of playing, Charly Rexach, Barça's technical director, recognized Messi's potential and sought to recruit him to the squad.
The club promised to pay for Messi's growth hormone treatments, to bring his parents and siblings from Argentina to live with him, and to provide the family a yearly income of €120,000.
With gratitude to Barca's assistance, Lionel, now 34, has achieved three European Champions Leagues with Barcelona, 10 Spanish crowns, a club record 672 goals in 778 games, and a record six Golden Balls (basically, world soccer's MVP trophy).
Messi's Final Words for BarcelonaWhile bidding goodbye to his beloved Barcelona, Messi couldn't help but burst into tears because his former team had done so much for his family and for him as a player.
He had stated that he wanted to stay at FC Barcelona and that he had "done all" he could to do so, including agreeing to a 50% pay reduction.
Barcelona, on the other hand, is bound by La Liga's spending regulations, and even reducing Messi's salary was insufficient to keep him at the Nou Camp.
A New Chapter of His Career With PSGMessi had two other alternatives after departing Barcelona last week, but he chose PSG, with the club's ability to contend for major championships, including the Champions League, being a crucial element in his decision. Because of this major shift, he also stated that he will be moving to France.
Despite confessing that leaving Barcelona was extremely difficult, he also stated that he was really pleased with his new club and looked forward to the future at his news conference.
Messi's debut in Paris completes a terrifying front three that includes Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, the French sensation. He is ecstatic at the thought of lining up with those two other superstars.
On the other hand, PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi expressed himself about what he thinks about Messi joining the team. He quoted, "I am delighted that Lionel Messi has chosen to join Paris Saint-Germain and we are proud to welcome him and his family to Paris."
What's next for Messi As PSG's Newest MemberAs part of the deal, Messi will earn a £25 million signing bonus and will wear the No. 30 jersey for PSG, the same number he wore on his Barcelona debut in 2003.
After acquiring some of the best players in the field, particularly Messi, Neymar, Mbappe, PSG is now the "most glamorous" team out there. Not to mention the stable finances that the PSG offers its players.
He may be earning less this time in his current team, but it would be way better than sticking with his former company, which is now left in massive debt and amateurish players.
The Blaugrana produced a world-class player out of Messi. After giving pride to FC Barcelona in exchange for exceptional skills and growth, this separation is indeed heart-breaking.
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