Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi discusses PSG transfer, Barcelona exit and Champions League ambitions

Jamie Spencer
Lionel Messi has been unveiled as a PSG player
Lionel Messi has been unveiled as a PSG player / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/Getty Images

Lionel Messi has praised Paris Saint-Germain for how ‘fast and serious’ they reacted to the news that he would be leaving Barcelona, concluding a deal in less than a week.

Barcelona’s statement about their inability to keep Messi owing to La Liga salary regulations was made just last Thursday, with PSG announcing that they have signed the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to a two-year contract only five days later on Tuesday.

Speaking at his public unveiling in Paris, Messi reiterated how difficult it was for him to leave Barcelona, but also shared how impressed he has been with PSG.

“Leaving Barcelona was so hard,” he said. “But I’m so happy to join Paris Saint-Germain, ambitious club with a top team. They’ve been so fast and serious in the negotiations immediately after Barça’s statement last Thursday.

“The welcome I received was wonderful. I feel incredibly happy. I can't wait to get started with my teammates.”

Messi will be reuniting with friend and former Barça teammate Neymar in the French capital, as well having the chance to play with Kylian Mbappe for the first time. The new PSG front three could even rival the ‘MSN’ trio that Messi and Neymar were previously part of with Luis Suarez.

“I am very happy. It's crazy. I'm going to play with the best players in the world, and that's always good,” the 34-year-old said of joining the same team as Neymar and Mbappe.

Neymar and I know each other very well. I hope we will be stronger together and with all our teammates.”

Messi joined PSG only days after his Barcelona exit was confirmed
Messi joined PSG only days after his Barcelona exit was confirmed / SAMEER AL-DOUMY/Getty Images

Messi, brings significant Champions League winning experience to Paris, having won the competition in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015. Fellow new arrivals Sergio Ramos and Georginio Wijnaldum have won the competition another five times between them.

It is the one major trophy that continues to elude PSG, who were losing finalists in 2020, but Messi is aiming for European glory one more time and believes it is possible.

“My goal and my dream is to win the Champions League once more. I think that we have the team to do it here,” he said.

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