Striker signed two-year deal with the club
Superstar Argentine striker Lionel Messi said he wants to “build something special” at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) as the club is set to unveil the player on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the 34-year-old signed a two-year deal with PSG with the option of an additional year.
Messi, who will wear the number 30 in Paris, the number he had when he began his professional career at Barca, will be unveiled by PSG at a press conference at 11:00 am (0900 GMT) on Wednesday.
“I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain,” he said in a statement on the club’s website.
“Everything about the club matches my football ambitions,” Messi, who was given a hero’s welcome by the PSG fans when he arrived in the French capital on Tuesday, added.
“I know how talented the squad and the coaching staff are here.
“I am determined to help build something special for the club and the fans, and I am looking forward to stepping out onto the pitch at the Parc des Princes.”
Messi, who was a free agent after his shock departure from boyhood club Barcelona last week, landed at Le Bourget airport to the north of Paris on Tuesday afternoon.
There he was greeted by hundreds of PSG supporters who had gathered hoping to catch a glimpse of their new signing.
Those fans also gathered outside the club’s Parc des Princes home and near a plush hotel in the city where Messi along with wife Antonella and their three children are expected to be staying.
Messi waved to crowds while sporting a Paris t-shirt on his arrival at the airport before being taken for his medical.
Messi’s father Jorge, who is also his agent, had earlier confirmed the inevitable as he arrived at Barcelona’s El Prat airport to board a flight to France.
Asked by reporters if his son would sign for the French club, he replied: “Yes.”
The completion of his move closes a whirlwind few days following the announcement last Thursday that he would leave Barcelona, the club he has represented for the entirety of his 17-year professional career.
PSG’s move for Messi had been an open secret for days, although reports in Spain on Monday night talked of a “final offer” by Barcelona to try to keep the player.
Instead, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner will join a PSG attack already featuring Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Qatar-backed PSG see Messi as the missing piece in their jigsaw as they chase the Champions League, the trophy they want more than anything else.
“Back together,” Neymar, who played with Messi at Barcelona before moving to PSG in 2017, posted on Twitter.
This summer PSG have already added veteran Spanish defender Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, the star of Euro 2020.
They have also signed Georginio Wijnaldum from Liverpool, snatching the Netherlands’ midfielder from under the noses of Barcelona, and spent 60 million euros on Inter Milan right-back Achraf Hakimi, who scored on his PSG league debut at the weekend.
Messi could be unveiled to supporters on Saturday, when PSG host Strasbourg and a full house of nearly 48,000 will be allowed in for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic struck 18 months ago.
However he is unlikely to make his debut until later this month at the earliest.