Lionel Messi took time out to send a message to Barcelona fans after being unveiled as a new Paris Saint-Germain player on Wednesday at the Parc des Princes.
The Argentine has signed a two-year deal with the Ligue 1 side following his shock exit from the Camp Nou. Messi spoke about his former club at a press conference and said the club’s supporters knew he would move to a strong team, as reported by Sport.
“I left without knowing where I would go … I will always be grateful to them for their affection,” he said. “I have experienced many things, good and bad. The fans knew that I would come to a strong and competitive team in which I could fight for the Champions League; They already know that I am a winner. I have no doubt that PSG shares my goals because they want to continue growing as a club.”
Messi was also asked how he would feel if he has to return to Barcelona as a PSG player in the Champions League. The French side knocked Messi and Barca out of last season’s tournament at the last 16 stage but are yet to lift the European Cup.
The 34-year-old said he would like to go back “home” but admits it would feel odd to return to the Camp Nou as part of a visting team.
“I don’t know if we will face each other, on the one hand it would be nice to go back to Barcelona and, above all, to do it with fans in the stands; but, on the other hand, it would be strange to go home wearing another shirt,” he added. “This is football and it could happen, but we’ll see.”
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Messi Set For Neymar Reunion
Messi’s move to PSG means the forward will get to reunite with former Barcelona teammate Neymar. The duo enjoyed great success together at the Camp Nou and formed a prolific ‘MSN’ attacking partnership with Luis Suarez.
Messi and Neymar are now expected to form another fearsome trio, along with Kylian Mbappe, and the former Barcelona captain admitted playing alongside Neymar was one of the reasons he had opted for the French club, as reported by Sport.
“It’s clear that one of the reasons was the dressing room, where I have friend and people I know. PSG and I were looking for the same thing and I hope we can achieve our objectives,” he said. “Neymar was one of the reasons, also Angel Di Maria, Paredes, that question was important in choosing this place. To have friends and team-mates in the dressing room will make things much easier.”
Xavi ‘Sad’ About Messi Exit
While PSG is full of excitement at the arrival of Messi, the feeling back at Barcelona remains one of sadness and disappointment. Club legend Xavi has shared his feelings after seeing Messi leave in an interview with The Times.
“I’m just so sad for Leo. It’s a pity to see him and the club couldn’t find a solution. I know that Leo wanted to stay, but in the end it could not be sorted. The only thing I can say now is that I will miss him a lot. It’s even hard for me to picture Messi with a shirt other than Barça’s,” he said. “It’s sad for Leo, especially for how I saw him emotionally at the Camp Nou the other day, but for Barcelona as well.”
A new Messi-less era begins for Barca on Sunday when the Catalan giants kick off the new La Liga season against Real Sociedad. Ronald Koeman’s side head into the match fresh from a morale-boosting 3-0 win over Juventus in the team’s final pre-season friendly.
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