Advertisement

Paris Saint-Germain signs soccer star Lionel Messi to two-year deal

Soccer star Lionel Messi greeted hundreds of supporters when he arrived to sign his contract with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday at Le Bourget airport in Paris. Photo by Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA-EFE
Soccer star Lionel Messi greeted hundreds of supporters when he arrived to sign his contract with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday at Le Bourget airport in Paris. Photo by Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA-EFE

Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Argentine soccer sensation Lionel Messi signed a two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, officially ending his 17-year tenure as the cornerstone for Spanish La Liga club FC Barcelona.

Sources told Sky Sports, The Athletic and the New York Times that the pact is worth about $34.6 million per season and includes a third-year option.

Advertisement

PSG is expected to announce the move later Tuesday. The club posted several videos on social media, which hinted at the signing. One of the videos featured Messi in his No. 10 Argentina jersey. Another featured his six Ballon d'Or awards in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Messi, 34, agreed to the contract just days after Spanish La Liga club FC Barcelona announced he would not return. Messi joined the Barcelona youth academy in 2000 and debuted for the senior team in 2004.

RELATED Lionel Messi to leave FC Barcelona due to 'economic and structural obstacles'

He planned to remain with Barcelona, but the club said it could not afford to pay his salary, even at a reduced rate.

"I would have liked to leave differently, but I guess a goodbye can never be a nice thing," Messi wrote Sunday on social media. "I would have loved to stay here. I did everything with that goal and in the end it wasn't given.

Advertisement

"I only have words of thanks to everyone who joined me in so many years at the club. And for our fans, who gave me all their love and I tried to give it back to them. I also gave everything for this shirt. I'm leaving. but it's not a goodbye, just a [see you] later."

RELATED Soccer: Lionel Messi, Barcelona agree to 5-year deal, reduced pay

Messi reunites with Brazilian striker Neymar Jr. in Paris. The forwards were teammates at Barcelona from 2013 to 2017. He is expected to feature alongside Neymar and French phenom Kylian Mbappe, forming one of the most dangerous attacks in professional soccer.

"Back together," Neymar wrote Tuesday on Instagram.

Messi flew Tuesday to Paris-Le Bourget Airport, where he was met by hundreds of fans.

RELATED Soccer: Lionel Messi, Argentina beat Paraguay in Copa America

PSG brokered deals earlier this summer for Italian goalie Gianluigi Donnarumma, Spanish defender Sergio Ramos and midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum of the Netherlands.

The French club, owned by Qatar Sports Investments, won three-consecutive Ligue 1 titles from 2017-18 through 2019-20. Lille won Ligue 1 in 2020-21.

PSG also advanced to the 2019-20 Champions League Final, but lost to Bayern Munich.

Messi scored a team-record 672 goals in his 17 seasons at Barcelona. He six Ballon d'Ors, the trophy awarded annually to the best player in the world, are the most in history.

Advertisement

PSG starts its 2021-22 Ligue 1 campaign against Strasbourg at 3 p.m. EDT Saturday in Paris.

Latest Headlines