Impatient Lionel Messi Eyes Champions League Glory With PSG
Lionel Messi has signed a two-year deal with PSG with an option to extend for a year as well.
After officially welcoming Lionel Messi to the club, Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi not only swatted away questions about Financial Fair Play but also hoped that the broadcast rights’ deals would be better for Ligue 1 in the future.
Messi, meanwhile, made it clear that the UEFA Champions League title, elusive for PSG, was his prime target. “I think we have the team to do it here,” Messi said while addressing his first press conference as a PSG player.
“My goal and my dream is to win the Champions League once more.”
PSG’s best finish in the Champions League was a final defeat against Bayern Munich in 2020.
Speaking about the move away from Barcelona, a club he came to in 2000, Messi said that it had been an emotional ride recently but that his focus was more on his “new life” after a "difficult" departure.
“It was a difficult change after so long a time," he told reporters at the Parc des Princes. “But the moment I arrived here, I felt very happy and I really want to begin the training sessions. I want it to be quick.
“My only will now is to begin the training sessions. I want to work with the staff and team-mates and begin this new moment of my life.
“I have this will to play. I am really impatient. I still want to win, as I did the first moment of my career.
“I feel this club is ready to fight for all the trophies. This is my goal, I want to keep growing and keep winning titles and that is why I came to this club.”
Reuniting With Old Friends and Foes
Messi’s arrival in Paris on Tuesday had brought the city to a standstill, almost, and on Wednesday, the Parc-des Princes saw scores of fans que up as they waited for a glimpse of their newest superstar.
Messi’s arrival makes PSG’s frontline look extremely dangerous with Kylian Mbappae and Neymar forming the front 3 with the Argentine. Both Mbappe and Neymar are the two most expensive players currently.
“I've been following this, I've got friends in Paris and because of them I was following Ligue 1 and I think that this Championship has been growing a lot.
“Paris has worked a lot for the league because of the transfers and so on and I think that the league is more competitive, all of the teams are getting stronger because they want to win against Paris.”
Messi will also reunite with arch-rival from Spain Sergio Ramos, former Real Madrid captain, and Angel di Maria, and Leandro Paredes, both of whom were part of the Argentine squad that won the Copa America in 2021.
“Di Maria, Parades, I know all of the teammates in the dressing room, we had contact and Neymar of course did a lot and was important in my decision."
Financial Fair Play
PSG President Al-Khelaifi was understandably also asked about the UEFA FFP rules and how the club worked out the math, to which he shot back saying they always follow the rules.
“What you as a media need to focus is not only the negative side but the positive side he will bring to the club,” Khelaifi said.
"We checked with our financial people and knew that we could sign him. Through it all we look at financial fair play and always we will fulfil financial fair play regulations.”
PSG remember were investigated for possible FFP breach by UEFA and eventually won the matter at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2019 on the grounds that UEFA took too long to review its own decision to clear the French champions of breaking FFP rules.
PSG’s 2017/18 finances were also under investigation – it was the season when Neymar and Mbappe joined the squad.
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