Lionel Messi is expected to arrive in Paris on Monday, aimed by the unlimited funds of PSG, having retorted a tearful farewell to Barcelona after 21 years of a wonderful service.
However, their wait was in vain.
Stressing no deals had been done, Messi did concede at his tearful farewell news conference in Barcelona earlier Sunday that joining PSG was a “possibility”.
In reality, they are the only club who can afford what is expected to be a deal worth 35 million euros a year for the 34-year-old Argentine.
“I gave everything for Barcelona from the first day that I arrived right to the last. I never imagined having to say goodbye,” Messi told the news conference.
“I have still not come to terms with the reality of leaving this club now — I love this club,” added a suited Messi, who several times wiped away tears before a squadron of reporters at the club’s Camp Nou ground who gave him a standing ovation.
Messi, widely considered the most gifted player in the history of the game, won 35 trophies at Barcelona who he joined as a 13-year-old — including four Champions Leagues and 10 league titles while his 672 goals are a record for any of the top five European leagues.
– ‘Great for Ligue 1’ -Despite offering to cut his salary by half to seal a new five-year deal which a club carrying debts of 1.2 billion euros ($1.5 billion) and player had agreed on, the agreement foundered on strict Spanish League salary restrictions.
Some in France’s Ligue 1 have mixed feelings about the impending arrival of Messi who will form a superstar attacking force alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar who earns a reported 36 million euros a year and is a former Barcelona teammate of the Argentine.
“It’s extraordinary for Ligue 1,” said Metz coach Frederic Antonetti.
“But for a purist like me, Messi should have finished his career at Barcelona.”