Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) signed Lionel Messi following the Argentine’s departure from Barcelona this summer. The Parisians’ manager Mauricio Pochettino has now disclosed how the club moved quickly to snap up the best player in the world.
“It was very fast, that’s why I say that we have to emphasize the work of Leonardo [PSG’s sporting director]. In two days, they were able to manage the signing of the best player in the world. Everyone was waiting to see if he would stay at Barca, although everyone, I think, had assumed that he was going to stay. It all happened very quickly.”
Pochettino also recalled his conversation with Leonardo before PSG chose to go after Lionel Messi’s signature.
“Leonardo called me and said ‘There is the possibility of signing Lionel Messi, do you like him or don’t you like him?’ I thought it was a joke, I said ‘We have to go and look for him or what?’ I said yes and that was the beginning of the process. Every night, Leonardo called me to tell me how the situation was.”
The tactician also revealed he didn’t call Lionel Messi to convince him to join PSG but was rather waiting and hoping the transfer would materialize.
“They didn’t tell me to talk to him to convince him, we spoke later when we were just waiting for the final details to come. We had a very normal, natural conversation,” the tactician added.
How Lionel Messi became a PSG player
It came as a huge shock to the football world when Lionel Messi joined PSG this summer as everyone expected the attacker to stay put at Barcelona. Messi had reportedly agreed to continue with the Catalan giants while taking a 50% pay-cut but the club couldn’t register him due to their economic struggles.
PSG took advantage of the situation to snap up the six-time Ballon d’Or winner on a free transfer. Lionel Messi signed a two-year contract with the Parisians, with the option of extending it further by a year if he chooses to.
He’s already made five appearances for the French giants this season. Messi recently scored his first goal in PSG colors during their 2-0 victory over Manchester City in the Champions League.