Messi left Barelona last week after spending 21 years at the club and will now earn a staggering £1million per week and will wear the No 30 shirt at PSG.
On Wednesday, August 11, after Lionel Messi’s unveiling to the fans, the football legend engaged in a press conference with PSG chairman Al Khelaifi.
Speaking publicly for the first time as a PSG player, Messi spoke about his family, his Barcelona exit, the PSG team, PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino and the tough week he has had.
Read excerpts of the interview below.
Messi on his family
I spoke with Leonardo and I said the only thing that counts for me is my family can adapt quickly to own experience but I am ready. I can’ wait to start and I friends in the dressing room and it’s clear that I can start quickly with my team-mates. I can’t wait to start this new adventure to start training, to know my new team mates and to make contact with them and to play. I am ready for the sporting plan and this could be a great experience. We as a family are calm and happy.
Messi on Pochettino
The coach and coaching staff was a big part in the negotiations. When I saw it was possible, I spoke with him straight away. I’ve know him for a while. I spoke to him, the fact we are the two Argentines helped a lot. We spoke, it went well to begin with. The technical staff at PSG helped my decision.
Messi on Ligue 1
I’ve followed Ligue 1. I have friends in Paris. The signings they have made has been good. It’s a competitive league. The other teams are well built as well. Everyone wants to beat Paris. I’m happy to be here.
Messi on Barcelona exit
Everything that has happened to me this last week has been hard, quick and emotional. I can’t believe what I lived and experienced in Barcelona but I feel impatient and happy at this new life with my family as well. I am very happy. This whole week I have gone through ups and downs but we are processing it everyday little by little.
(On PSG) They know me and they know I love to win, that I’m a winner. I hpoe to eocniue the complete my challenges. It would be good to return to Barcelona But I can’t wait to play here as well.
Messi on playing with Neymar again
I know him well. I can’t wait to play with the team-mates that I have, we have the same objectives. We were apart before but I think we are better together. Neymar was one of the reasons I came here. I know all of my team mates though. We’ve all met many times before.
Speaking on why he chose PSG?
It’s a club has bought well this season. They came close the last few years to win the Champions League. I came here to do my best and show enthusiasm. My objective is to lift another Champions League and I’m at the right place to do it.
On winning the Champions League at PSG?
It’s not easy. We can have the best team in the world but not win. It’s football there are small details that can change that. Champions League is difficult.
Paris knows that. It’s the competition where there’s the best in the world. I don’t know if we’re the strongest, but we must be untied. That gives you chance. You need to find this chance and then take it. The best teams in the world have not won the Champions League, it’s a special competition.
PSG chairman Khelafi revealed that his club can afford Messi without breaking Financial Fair Play rules .
I want to make it clear. I was waiting for it. For us, we follow FFP regulations from day one until the end. Before we do anything, we look at commercial and finances people and when we thought could we have capacity to sign him. We knew we could sign him and today what Leo is bringing to the club is huge. What you as media need to focus in is not the negative side of things but the positives he cna bring. He is an asset for the club, everything will grow commercially. In three days, you will be shocked. I hope he does not ask for any more in terms of salary but we always look at FFP and will always follow it.