PSG hold their breath in Messi’s waiting game – Sport – The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

Argentina’s Barcelona striker Lionel Messi reacts during a press conference at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on August 8, 2021. – Messi swallowed back tears as he started a press conference in which he confirmed that he ‘he was leaving Barcelona, ​​where he played his entire career. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)

Paris Saint-Germain were hoping to finalize a deal to bring Lionel Messi to the French capital on Tuesday, with supporters eagerly awaiting the Argentine superstar’s signing following his departure from Barcelona.

The football world has been holding its breath since Barcelona announced on Thursday that they could not afford to keep the 34-year-old and PSG quickly became their only likely next destination.

On Monday, members of the PSG faithful gathered in front of the club’s home, Parc des Princes, and at Le Bourget airport, north of the city, in the hope of catching a glimpse of Messi.

He did not arrive and reports in Spain overnight spoke of a “final offer” from Barcelona to try to keep the player at the club.

Meanwhile, the headline of the French sports daily L’Equipe hinted at the mood in Paris. “More and more agitated,” he said, while inside he spoke about the “longest hours” as fans waited for an announcement.

However, a knowledgeable source told AFP that Messi could land in Paris on Tuesday afternoon as the Qatari side appear poised to add the 34-year-old to a squad that already includes Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

PSG see Messi as the missing piece of their puzzle as they pursue the Champions League, the trophy they want more than anything.

Off the pitch, his alleged move has added 1.2 million followers to PSG’s social media accounts since Friday.

“I’m happy if he arrives in Paris,” new PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma told Sky Sports Italia outside his Paris hotel on Monday.

“He is the strongest in the world, I am excited and happy to have him in the team,” he added.

Messi conceded at a tearful Barcelona farewell press conference on Sunday that joining PSG was only a “possibility”.

In reality, with Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City having opted out, PSG are pretty much the only club that can afford what should be a contract worth € 35m (€ 41m). dollars) per year.

“I gave everything for Barcelona from the first day I arrived until the last. I never imagined having to say goodbye, ”Messi said.

“I still haven’t accepted the reality of leaving this club now – I love this club.”

He leaves Barcelona with 672 goals in 778 appearances, a record for a club.

Messi won 35 trophies at Camp Nou after joining Barca at the age of 13, but his last appearance was a wet firecracker: a 2-1 home loss behind closed doors to Celta Vigo in May.

His record includes four Champions League titles and 10 La Liga titles.

“The greatest of all,” wrote former Messi Barcelona teammate Dani Alves – who won Olympic gold with Brazil in Tokyo – in an Instagram post on Monday.

A group of Barcelona supporters, represented by a Parisian lawyer, have announced their intention to file a complaint with the European Commission in connection with the rules of financial fair play that Barcelona and PSG must respect.

“Extraordinary for Ligue 1”
Although he offered to cut his salary in half to seal a new five-year contract on which the club, in debt of € 1.2 billion and the player, had agreed, the deal has failed on strict Spanish league salary cap rules.

Messi’s arrival would make PSG an even more obvious favorite to reclaim a French title he missed last season in Lille.

Some in Ligue 1 have mixed feelings about the imminent arrival of the greatest player of all time.

“It’s extraordinary for Ligue 1,” said Metz coach Frédéric Antonetti.

“But for a purist like me, Messi should have ended his career at Barcelona.”

This summer, PSG have already added the veteran Spanish defender Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid and the Italian Donnarumma, the star of Euro 2020.

They also signed Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, snatching the Dutchman from under Barcelona’s noses, and spent € 60m on Inter Milan right-back Achraf Hakimi, who scored on his debut in Barcelona. championship with PSG this weekend.

An added attraction to moving to Paris is that coach Mauricio Pochettino, like Messi, started his career at Newell’s Old Boys in Rosario, Argentina.

Everything is going as planned, Messi could be unveiled to supporters on Saturday, when PSG play at home in Strasbourg and a packed house of almost 48,000 will be authorized for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic struck 18 months ago .

Sara R. Cicero