PARIS - Lionel Messi's departure from Barcelona is official.
The 34-year-old Argentinian forward signed a two-year deal Tuesday with Paris Saint-Germain of Ligue 1 with an option for a third year. Financial terms were not announced, but The New York Times reported Messi will earn $41 million (R 607 730 700,00) per year.
Messi had spent his entire pro career with Barcelona, but his contract expired and the two sides couldn't agree on a new deal. His last contract was for four years and $674 million, and he was looking at a massive pay cut to return to the Spanish side.
"I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain. Everything about the club matches my football ambitions," Messi said Tuesday in a statement. "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 already is in Paris and will be formally introduced as part of the team Wednesday.
Messi registered 25 goals and 21 assists in 33 matches (starts) for Barcelona in La Liga play in 2019-20, then had 30 goals and nine assists in 35 matches (33 starts) in 2020-21.
He has won 34 titles in 16 seasons with Barcelona, including four Champions League and 10 La Liga crowns. He is a six-time Ballon d'Or-winner.