Football fans in Paris were more than delighted to see Lionel Messi show up in the capital city as he made his way towards joining his new club Paris Saint-Germain after leaving FC Barcelona.
The Argentine superstar, 34, waved to fans as he was greeted by thousands of supporters at Paris-Le Bourget Airport on Tuesday. For the PSG faithful, the moment was made all the sweeter by the fact Messi was donning a T-shirt emblazoned with the club’s famed slogan Ici C’est Paris (This is Paris).
Often chanted during home games by fans, the slogan has been popular with the club since the 1990s. It’s also the same motto that can be seen on PSG’s official merchandise, however, the specific shirt worn by Messi does not seem to be available. A look through the team's website shows other similar tops with the same phrase available for purchase.
Sportswear brand Nike is the kit provider for the French club, meaning it also stocks PSG clothing, but it does not appear to have the same shirt at the moment either. However, since Messi was spotted wearing the apparel, a number of websites, such as TeeChip and RedBubble, have recreated the shirt for purchase, but it should be noted that they are not officially affiliated with the club.
But it isn't only Messi's T-shirt that has sparked fan interest. After announcing he'll be wearing No 30 while playing (a departure from the No 10 he wore while with Barcelona), his jersey reportedly sold out in a mere 30 minutes.
This shouldn't be too surprising, as he has always been a top draw for football fans. According to Soccer.com, Messi had the top-selling football jersey in the US in 2020, above fellow stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe.
Messi's move to Paris
Messi made headlines around the world after he confirmed this week that he would be leaving Barcelona, a club he’s been with for 21 years.
He was officially introduced as the newest player for PSG on Wednesday. During a press conference, he opened up about how difficult it was for him to leave his former club, but that he was looking forward to beginning a new chapter in his career.
"You know my exit from Barcelona was a hard moment after so many years it was a difficult change after so much time,” he said. "But the moment I arrived here I feel very happy and I want to begin training and I wanted it to be a quick signing.
"I'm enjoying my time in Paris since the first minute my family and I arrived. My only will now is to begin training and I want to work with the staff and teammates and begin this new moment of my life.
"I'm so happy to be here. I have a will to play and I still want to play and win as much as I wanted to at the first moment of my career. This club is ready to fight for all the trophies, this is my goal: to keep growing, keep winning titles and that's why I've come here to this club. I hope we can make it happen."