After spending two decades with Barcelona, soccer superstar Lionel Messi has joined Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year contract (with an option for a third year).
Messi’s departure from Barcelona wasn’t necessarily his choice, but FCB’s financial mismanagement left it impossible to re-sign Messi while adhering to financial fair play, La Liga regulations and Spanish law. That law prohibited Messi from taking a pay cut exceeding 50 percent of his previous year’s salary.
All that financial whirlwind eventually led to the scene in Paris on Tuesday where Messi arrived at Le Parc des Princes in a motorcade. He was also ready to sport a new number.
PSG announced the Messi signing with a presentation video of Messi in his new uniform, and he settled on No. 30 with his new club.
Given the earlier teasers that included Neymar’s No. 10 jersey, we knew a number change was coming for the Argentinian superstar. French outlet bfmtv.com reported that Neymar offered to give up No. 10 in order to bring in Messi, but Messi declined and opted to go with a throwback to the early days of his legendary career.
LM30 is back! 🚨
Lionel Messi reportedly rejected the chance to take Neymar's No. 10 shirt and is set to wear No. 30 at PSG. It's the number he wore on his Barcelona debut in 2003. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/aXMYULWSrJ
— CBS Sports Golazo (@CBSSportsGolazo) August 10, 2021
Messi wore No. 30 in his Barcelona debut before changing to No. 19 in 2006. He took over the storied No. 10 jersey once Ronaldinho left Barcelona in 2008.
The choice in Paris seemingly came down to 30 and 19, and after PSG backup goalkeeper Alexandre Letellier agreed to give up No. 30, Messi’s choice was made.
The number is going to take some getting used to, but then again, all of this is new — number included.