Lionel Messi signs with PSG, opening a new era

Lionel Messi struck a deal with Paris Saint Germain on Tuesday as FC Barcelona made a last ditch effort to keep the football star who is set to leave the Spanish club after 21 years, ESPN Argentina reported. French newspaper The team reported on Sunday that the Argentine was in negotiations with football giant Paris St Germain and would travel to the French capital within the next 24 hours. On Tuesday, the French newspaper announced on its website that Messi was due to arrive in Paris within the next few hours to complete his move. Barcelona president Joan Laporte offered Messi a new contract and the six-time Ballon D’or (Ballon d’Or) winner was considering his options, according to reports. However, it looks like Messi has decided to move to the French capital. Spanish media and Argentine media Olé have questioned the report’s legitimacy, with Spanish media suggesting the report is a publicity stunt by President Laporte, who has come under scrutiny for allowing the Barcelona legend to leave.

In addition, a Barcelona member has filed complaints with a French court and the European Commission in an attempt to block Lionel Messi’s potential move to Paris St Germain, according to documents seen by Reuters on Monday. In the complaints, shared by fan lawyer Juan Branco, the Barca member, said French football authorities failed to enforce Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules in order to help PSG become a force in European football. FFP rules prohibit top European football clubs from paying their playing teams an excessive share of their total income, according to the member’s complaints, which also indicate that the transfer of 34-year-old Argentinian Messi to PSG would break the code. The EU executive confirmed receipt of the complaint. “The Commission is assessing the complaint according to its standard procedures,” said a spokesperson. PSG and the French professional football league LFP did not immediately respond to requests for comment. PSG’s frontline is already formidable, with Messi’s former Barca teammate Neymar and young French striker Kylian Mbappe considered two of the best players on the planet. But the arrival of Messi, Barca’s record scorer with 682 goals in 27 years, will bolster the club’s ambitions to win a very first Champions League. The arrival of Messi, who has 245 million followers on Instagram and is Barcelona’s most decorated player of all time, is also good news for the French Ligue 1, which is plunged into a TV rights crisis.

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