Lionel Messi has finally agreed on a deal with Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain.
Argentine football star Lionel Messi has agreed to a two-year deal with the Qatari-owned PSG football club just a day after delivering an emotional farewell speech at his final Barcelona press conference, it has been confirmed.
The French club contacted the 34-year-old’s representatives shortly after news of his departure broke out to explore a potential deal, in a move that would reunite him with former Barcelona team-mate Neymar.
Huge win for #Qatar #SportDiplomacy. Inevitable increase in brand value for @PSG_inside @qatarairways, shirt sales & flurry of loyal @TeamMessi fans to #Ligue1, all in the lead up to the @FIFAWorldCup in #Qatar 2022 & a potential @ChampionsLeague trophy in the same calendar year. https://t.co/6npoRY0v0m
— Omar Salha FRSA (@o_salha) August 10, 2021
The ex-Barcelona star has now reportedly agreed to join PSG on a two-year contract, with an option for a third, according to several reports.
Sky News said the forward will receive a £25m signing-on fee, though the club has yet to officially make an announcement.
PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been eyeing Messi since news of his exit from the Spanish club first surfaced.
“Messi to PSG would be icing on a very large geopolitical cake for Qatar. Cherry on this cake would be a 2022 UCL win. With WC 2022 also due, successfully taking control of world football’s narrative next year would be big win for Qatar project two decades in the making,” Geopolitical Economy of Sport Professor Simon Chadwick commented on Twitter.
Lecturer of Diplomacy and Soft Power Omar Salha described the news as a “huge win for Qatar sport Diplomacy” that would prove to be an “inevitable increase in brand value for PSG”.
On the ground in Paris, football fans have been eagerly anticipating his arrival, flocking to Le Bourget airport and nearby areas with hopes to catch a potential glimpse of the superstar footballer.
Local reports said fans were spotted in huge numbers outside PSG’s ground in central Paris.