By. Patrick Smietanka and Eli Zemach
August 10th, 2021 marks a monumental moment in football history. One of the all-time greats Lionel Messi has made a surprising move from longtime club FC Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain. The Catalonian club announced a short time ago that star player Lionel Messi will be parting ways with the club due to financial issues.
The official FC Barcelona press release explains:
“Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of Spanish LaLiga regulations on player registration…
…FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandizement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life”
After Messi’s 21 years, multiple Ballon D’ors, and Champions League trophies, the time has finally arrived for the two parties to separate. Since the announcement of Lionel’s separation from the club, speculation has been brewing and concluding the two landing spots for the world-class footballer, based on salary predictions and squad availability would be Paris St. Germain of Ligue 1 or Manchester City of the Premier League. Days ago, news broke that Messi had accepted the terms of a new contract with PSG. Announced at 10:00 am August 10th, 2021, in a 12-second video on their website, the transfer of Lionel Messi from FC Barcelona to PSG was confirmed. The Parisians announced that Messi would be taking the number 30 shirt, a surprise to many as he usually wore his iconic number 10. Neymar will continue to keep that number 10 shirt as a homage to Messi’s younger years where he wore the 30 and Ronaldinho held that number 10 instead. As for the financial details, in a potential leaked contract, Fabrizio Romano revealed on Twitter that the contract would be a two-year deal with an option to extend for a third year until June 2024. The deal included a salary of €35 million ($41 million) per season with add ons included. Quite a hefty price but for one of the greatest of all time, it only seems more than appropriate.
Lionel Messi’s legacy is one that not many can compare to. The now 34-year-old, has an exceptional trophy cabinet along with a beyond impressive goal contribution ratio. What many believed to be a one-club player, Messi played 778 games for Barcelona, while scoring 672 goals and 305 assists. We’ve made it easier to see Messi’s legendary achievements in a list:
6 Ballon D’ors
3 UEFA Best player in Europe
1 Best FIFA Men’s Player
21 times Top Scorer in:
8 in La Liga
1 in Copa America
6 in Champions League
5 in Copa del Rey
1 in FIFA Club World Cup
9 LaLiga Player of the Year
1 UEFA Champions League Player of the Year
1 Copa America
4 Champions Leagues
10 Spanish League Trophies
7 Spanish Cups
8 Spanish Super Cups
3 FIFA Club World Cups
3 UEFA Supercups
It’s safe to say Messi has made a statement in his career as arguably the best-ever player. His constant “La Liga” battle with Cristiano Ronaldo will forever be cemented in football history. A true great of the game, even at his age at 34, he has continued to stand on top of the world even through this last season. In all competitions in the 2020/2021 season, Messi has played in 47 games, scored 38 times and assisted 14. Coming off of a wonderful Copa America tournament, Messi looks to be wearing similar colours next season but in a whole different league.
As much as Lionel Messi would have loved to continue playing for the Catalonian Club, the roster he’s walking into at PSG is that of the highest class in the world. In addition to Messi, PSG were also able to transfer and sign Achraf Hakimi from Inter Milan, Georginio Wijnaldum from Liverpool, Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid, and Gianluigi Donnarumma from AC Milan. With these transfers and an attacking three of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Lionel Messi, this PSG team is looking like one of the best football teams of our generation. The passing and dribbling skill of Marco Veratti mixed with the world-class finishing of Lionel Messi is lethal, as is Hakimi’s wide speed mixed with Sergio Ramos’ outstanding central defending. Lionel Messi may just be the key to Paris’ next Champions League trophy, and alongside players like Mbappe and Neymar, it may be PSG’s best shot at that illustrious trophy.