Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi arrived in France on Tuesday to finalise a transfer to Paris Saint Germain (PSG) after reaching a deal with the club following his shock departure from Barcelona.
Lionel Messi waved to chanting fans from the window of the Le Bourget airport at the outskirts of the capital, wearing a T-shirt reading “This is Paris”.
The gesture delighted the hundreds of fans lined up outside the terminal to welcome him, chanting “Messi, Messi, Messi”, some having kept vigil the last three days since news of his transfer began to spread.
Messi’s transfer is a major coup for wealthy PSG, who will add one of the greatest players of all time to an already formidable front line that includes Brazil’s Neymar and young Frenchman Kylian Mbappe.
Messi gave no details of the deal, which was reached days after Barcelona said it could not afford to keep him because of Spain’s La Liga’s fair play rules.
L’Equipe said the deal would be for two years.
Messi did not appear again at the airport after waving to fans and went directly to the American Hospital of Paris for a medical check-up.
(Production: Antony Paone, Manuel Ausloos, Michaela Cabrera)