Football star Lionel Messi has arrived in France to finalise a transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, after the Argentine was forced to leave Barcelona due to the club’s financial troubles.
Messi waved to hundreds of chanting fans from the window of the Parisian airport where he touched down on a flight from Barcelona on Tuesday afternoon (local time).
Messi, who wore a t-shirt reading “This is Paris”, delighted the hundreds of fans lined up outside the terminal with the gesture.
Without explicitly naming Messi, the French club shared a video on it’s Twitter account saying a “new diamond” was arriving in Paris.
The video showed numerous references to Argentina and the star player, including the flag of the city of Rosario, Messi’s birthplace, a maté gourd with the Argentine flag on it, a player wearing a number 10 Argentina jersey and a graphic of six Ballon d’Or trophies in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Messi established himself as one of the greatest footballers of all time during a glittering, trophy-laden career at Barcelona, the club he joined as a schoolboy.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner wept on Sunday as he bade farewell to his boyhood team, after the club said it could no longer afford to keep him because of the Spanish league’s financial fair play rules.
At Ligue 1 club PSG, Messi will make an already formidable frontline even stronger.
Messi’s former Barcelona teammate Neymar and young France striker Kylian Mbappé are already at the club and are seen as two of the world’s best players.
But the arrival of Messi, Barcelona’s all-time record scorer with 672 goals, will boost the club’s ambitions to win a first ever Champions League.
Messi is the latest big-name arrival at PSG on a free transfer this summer after Mauricio Pochettino’s side snapped up Spanish defender Sergio Ramos after he left Real Madrid. Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum also joined after running down his contract with Liverpool.