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Messi Holds Press Conference As His No. 30 Jersey Sells Out In Record TimeMessi Holds Press Conference As His No. 30 Jersey Sells Out In Record Time

Messi
Messi

August 11, (THEWILL) – The hunger that has pushed Argentine football superstar Lionel Messi to excellence at both club and national levels has not waned in the intervening years as the player himself made abundantly clear on Wednesday while being formally unveiled as a Paris Saint-Germain player.

Messi did not mince words when he laid out in the open that his aim was to win more silverware in his time with PSG. It was the 34-year-old’s first Press Conference as a player for the club and comes at a time when PSG’s pursuit of the Champions League title has remained largely elusive.

That will make hearing these kinds of sentiments from Messi satisfying especially given all PSG stands to gain from his unceremonious exit from Barcelona. The Ligue 1 side managed to reach the UCL final in 2020 for the first time, but fell to a 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich, who went on to win a sextuple of titles in that campaign.

The last time a club did a sextuple before Bayern, it was a Barcelona side managed by Pep Guardiola, current Manchester City boss, and the talismanic player that made most of the magic happen to bring that initial sextuple to reality, Messi was speaking from PSG in France.

He said to the reporters present at the conference: “I repeat that I’m happy to be here and I’m impatient to play. I still want to win and play as I did at the first moment of my career and with this club, the staff, I think this club is really ready to fight for all the trophies.

“I want to keep winning titles and this is why I’ve come here to this club and I really want to make that happen. I’m sure I’m going to enjoy my time here and I’d like to thank PSG again for having me here.”

The role of Neymar, his friend and former Barcelona teammate was also brought up as Messi admitted that Neymar “did a lot” to convince him to leave Barcelona for PSG, regaling him with stories of the strength of Ligue 1, all of which helped his decision.

Messi continued: “[Angel] Di Maria, [Leandro] Paredes, all these players. I know all the team-mates in the dressing room actually. We all had contact actually and Neymar did a lot and was important for my move. I have been following this league and because of my friends at PSG I have been following their games [in the past].

“This championship has been growing a lot and PSG has worked a lot to grow Ligue 1. The league is more competitive and all the teams are getting stronger because all the teams want to beat PSG and win Ligue 1.”

The move to bring Messi into the PSG squad has raised questions over whether the deal has been done in line with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, which look to stop clubs from spending beyond their means or otherwise risk being banned from UEFA club competitions for some period.

Nasser al-Khelaifi, the Chief Executive Officer of Les Parisiens, was clear in his insistence that PSG did not contravene the rules and were playing it by the book: “We follow the Financial Fair Play rules. We are always attentive to Financial Fair Play. It’s the first thing we check with the commercial, financial and legal people to see if we can do it before signing someone.

“I think the media need to focus on the positives and not just the negatives of these moves, but what positives he brings. He’s an unbelievable asset to the club.”

As THEWILL noted previously, Messi will wear the number 30 shirt while making every effort possible to help get up to full fitness before reaching the levels to join the squad fully.

However, the Messi brand has already begun to demonstrate its earning potential. PSG released the shirts with Messi’s name and number after the confirmation on Tuesday night. They were reportedly released on PSG’s online store following the announcement.

It was soon reported that both Messi’s home and away jerseys sold out within 20 minutes despite being priced at €107.99 (£92) a piece. With the extras Messi will bring to the game on the pitch, his arrival also brings a number of sponsorship opportunities for the club in terms of revenue which will more than cover what he will earn at PSG.