PARIS, France (AFP) — Argentina forward Lionel Messi, who left Barcelona after 21 years last week, has signed a two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), with the option of an additional year, the French club announced on Tuesday.
Messi, 34, will wear the No. 30, the number he had when he began his professional career at Barca, and is set to be unveiled by PSG at a press conference they have called for 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday.
“I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain,” he said in a statement on the club’s website.
“Everything about the club matches my football ambitions,” Messi, who was given a hero’s welcome by the PSG fans when he arrived in the French capital on Tuesday, added.
“I know how talented the squad and the coaching staff are here.”
“I am determined to help build something special for the club and the fans, and I am looking forward to stepping out onto the pitch at the Parc des Princes.”
Messi, who was a free agent after his shock departure from boyhood club Barcelona last week, landed at Le Bourget airport to the north of Paris on Tuesday afternoon.
There he was greeted by hundreds of PSG supporters who had gathered hoping to catch a glimpse of their new signing.
Those fans also gathered outside the club’s Parc des Princes home and near a plush hotel in the city where Messi along with wife Antonella and their three children are expected to be staying.
Messi waved to the crowd while sporting a Paris t-shirt on his arrival at the airport before being taken for his medical.
Messi’s father Jorge, who is also his agent, had earlier confirmed the inevitable as he arrived at Barcelona’s El Prat airport to board a flight to France.
Asked by reporters if his son would sign for the French club, he replied: “Yes.”
The completion of his move closes a whirlwind few days following the announcement last Thursday that he would leave Barcelona, the club he has represented for the entirety of his 17-year professional career.
PSG’s move for Messi had been an open secret for days, although reports in Spain on Monday night talked of a “final offer” by Barcelona to try to keep the player.