Argentine superstar Lionel Messi is finally in France to play for his new club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) after 21 years at Barcelona. Arguably the world’s best forward, Messi, however, had a tough time telling his family that they are moving out of Spain.
About a month ago, Messi was a free agent before Barcelona FC President Joan Laporta made decisive moves to retain the six-time Ballon d’Or winner. Despite an agreement between Messi and the club, the deal could not see through because of financial complications brought in by La Liga rules.
While it was quite evident that Messi would join PSG, fans in Spain hoped for a miracle. But on Thursday (August 12), Barcelona club confirmed that would have to let go of their most valued player.
If Messi and Barcelona fans were left devastated, the Argentine’s wife, Antonella, and three children – Thiago, Cero and Mateo – did not have it easy either. It was an emotional moment for Messi, who had tears in his eyes, as he conveyed the news to his family.
“My dad came home. He had been with Laporta all evening,” Messi recalled in an interview with Guillem Balague and BBC Sport.
“When he came home, he obviously told me about it, and at that point, I felt really down. Then, I had to prepare myself to tell my wife Antonella. Then we cried, and we had to tell the children. We felt really low. But we cheered each other up to tell the children. We needed to find the right way because we had told them in December that we were staying in Barcelona. We knew how hard it was going to be, especially for Thiago,” Messi said during the interview.
On how his son Thiago took the news, Messi said, “Sometimes, we think too much about things, but kids assimilate very quickly. They can accept things in a way that we don’t even imagine. Thiago, for instance, might keep it inside, but at the moment he seems to be enjoying everything. But I know him, he is like me. He is suffering inside without showing it.”
Messi said that despite the big upset in their lives, his family will move on. “This is not a serious situation. He (Thiago) will adapt and it’s going to be a good experience for him. He will grow personally. The five of us are going to be very happy and enjoy ourselves at this club,” the 34-year-old footballer said.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) August 12, 2021
While Barcelona fans bid a tearful adieu to Lionel Messi, the welcome he got at PSG in Paris was second to none. He was greeted by thousands of fans who lined the streets of the French capital as the soccer star arrived at the Parc des Princes.