Monday, October 18, 2021

Messi leaves Barcelona: PSG a possibility, Argentine star confirms

SoccerNews in La Liga 8 Aug 2021

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Lionel Messi confirmed he could join Paris Saint-Germain after his reluctant departure from Barcelona.

The 34-year-old Argentine superstar is a free agent after his contract at Camp Nou expired.

Barcelona have said they were unable to extend his deal due to financial constraints, and it means their record scorer, who has made more appearances for the club than any other player, must walk away.

That announcement first came in a club statement on Thursday evening, with sending shockwaves through the game.

He could head straight into the arms of French champions PSG, joining former Barcelona team-mate Neymar amid a squad of superstars at the Parc des Princes.

Asked about possibly joining the Parisians, Messi said in a news conference on Sunday: “That’s honestly one possibility, to reach those heights. At the minute I’ve got nothing confirmed with anybody.”

According to Messi, there has been interest from a host of clubs in signing him.

He did not mention any potential suitors, and only the richest clubs in the game are likely to be able to afford to acquire him, given his high wages.

“When the press release was published, I had a lot of calls, a lot of clubs that were interested,” Messi said.

“At the minute, I’ve not got anything closed but we’re talking about a lot of things.”

Asked about the possibility of facing Barcelona with his next club, he added: “The people in Barca know me, they know I’m a good player and they know I like competing.

“If I’m going to come here, then like I did here I’ll fight to win everything. The last years of my career I’ll finish it in my way, competing and fighting for titles, ending my career on a high.”

Messi said it was a horrifying moment personally when he was told his time was up at Barcelona.

“My blood ran cold because it was really sad, really difficult. Right until now we’re still trying to process it all. When I’m going to go home I’m going to still feel pretty bad about the whole thing,” Messi said.

“But the important thing is we’re still okay, my family and my loved ones. And that I get to keep playing football. I’m sure now it’s going to be a bit difficult but we need to move on.”

Reports in France have claimed Messi will fly to Paris on Sunday, suggesting PSG will be his likely next club.

After 20 years in Spain, such a move will be a wrench for a player who has made the Catalan region his home.

Messi said: “I’ve still not quite come to terms with the reality of leaving this club and changing my life completely. Now we’re going to change again, it’s going to be a difficult change, especially for my family, but I know that we’re going to be okay. We need to accept it, take it on and move forward.”

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