Lionel Messi Wants to Win Champions League Title with PSG After Barcelona Exit

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 11, 2021

PARIS, FRANCE - AUGUST 11: Lionel Messi poses with his jersey after a press conference where he was unveiled as a Paris Saint-Germain player at Parc des Princes on August 11, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Antoine Gyori/ Corbis via Getty Images)
Antoine Gyori/ Corbis via Getty Images

Lionel Messi described his departure from Barcelona after more than two decades at the club as "very tough" but noted he's now "motivated" to find success with Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi told reporters during his introductory press conference Wednesday he was "grateful" to PSG for the easy negotiations on a two-year contract with an option for a third year that'll pay him between €30-35 ($35-41) million annually, per ESPN's Julien Laurens:

"My goal and my dream is to win the Champions League once more. I think that we have the team to do it here. The squad and coaches here are capable of winning everything, which is my objective. The team here is incredible. There have been some amazing signings. This will be an unbelievable experience for me. I do not know when I will first be able to play and I might need some preseason conditioning first. I really want to begin the training sessions, I really want it to be quick."

It's been a whirlwind week for the 34-year-old Argentine international.

After it was reported in July he'd agreed to a new five-year contract with Barcelona after becoming a free agent July 1, there was little movement for nearly a month. No speculation about a potential move to a new club, but also no finalization of the deal with Barca.

Then suddenly the La Liga side announced Thursday it wouldn't be able to re-sign the team legend because of the Spanish league's "regulations on player registration."

PSG quickly emerged as the favorite for Messi, and now he'll create an astounding attacking trio alongside Kylian Mbappe and former Barca teammate Neymar.

"I am very happy. It's crazy. I'm going to play with the best players in the world, and that's always good," Messi said Wednesday.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner was also asked about the potential of facing Barcelona in the Champions League.

"It would be nice on the one hand to face them in the Champions League, especially with fans, but on the other strange to go back to my home in another team's shirt—but that's football," Messi said.

Paris Saint-Germain opened its Ligue 1 schedule last weekend with a 2-1 win over Troyes and the team is back in action Saturday when it hosts Strasbourg at the Parc des Princes.

It's unknown when Messi will make his debut with Les Parisiens.