After a grand reception and public unveiling on Wednesday, former Barcelona star Lionel Messi took part in his first training session for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). Messi has signed a two year deal with PSG which can be further extended if both parties agree. The club reportedly is paying a whopping sum of 35 million euros ($41 million) net annually. The Argentine stalwart hasn’t played since he won Copa America in July and thus started his first run out with PSG with simple exercises.
“I’ve been out of action for around a month and I need to get physically ready. I hope to be ready as soon as possible, because I can’t wait to play,” Messi said at his unveiling at the Parc des Princes stadium on Wednesday.
While PSG is set to take on Strasbourg in Ligue 1 this weekend, Messi is unlikely to make his debut anytime soon.
“I can’t tell you when my first game will be but I can tell you I’m dying to get started,” he said. “I want it to be soon.” Messi said
The Paris Saint-German was the favourites to sign Messi after his shock exit from Barcelona. PSG is one of the few clubs who are financially strong to afford a signing like Messi. At PSG, Messi will collaborate with Brazil star Neymar and France World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe to make the club even stronger.
Messi was desperate to stay with Barcelona and even agreed to a pay cut. However, the club said they can’t afford to retain Messi due to La Liga’s play rules.
“Leo wanted to stay at Barca. We wanted him to stay. I want to thank everyone that has been in the negotiations. There were lots of aspects that needed to be negotiated. He is the best player in the world and has other offers, of course. After all of this process, there comes a moment where you have to say ‘enough’. You have to analyse it and look at the numbers. In La Liga we have to abide by the rules. We think they could be more flexible, but that is not an excuse. We couldn’t abide by it. Leo deserves everything. He has proven that he loves Barca. He has his roots in Barcelona. I’m sad but I’m convinced we have done the best for the interests of Barcelona,” Barcelona president Joan Laporta said.