Former Paris Saint-Germain director of Sport Leonardo has expressed his delight in securing Lionel Messi’s transfer for the French club as one of the keystones of his time and praised the Argentinean’s ability and legacy. Messi signed for the club on a two-year contract the previous summer.
Lionel Messi has established himself as one of the greatest players of all time at Barcelona as he scored 672 goals in 777 appearances across all competitions. The seven-time Ballon d’Or award winner helped the Blaugrana claim multiple domestic and European titles during his time at the club.
Messi’s 17-year tenure at the Camp Nou came to an end in an unceremonious fashion due to the Spanish side’s financial woes off the pitch and the Argentinean signed for PSG on a free transfer. The 34-year-old has suffered a drop-off in displays by his mercurial standards as he only scored 11 games in his inaugural season at the Parc des Princes.
The players repeatedly drew the ire of the fans in the following weeks after the French club’s humiliating exit from Europe at the hands of Real Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16. PSG are reportedly set to part ways to Mauricio Pochettino with Nice coach Christophe Galtier the leading candidate to take over.
Change is already being initiated at the top of the hierarchy as director of sport Leonardo was removed from his post at PSG and the Brazilian has looked back on fond memories by citing Messi’s signing as the highlight of his tenure.
“We had thought about it a lot, yes. We had talked about it, but Messi had never thought too much about leaving Barcelona. It was the last moments before his arrival that were decisive. Afterwards, everything becomes a bit more normal but, you made Messi's only transfer in his career!” Leonardo told L’Equipe.
“Chronologically, there is Pele, Maradona, Messi. He is on Olympus. So when I take stock of my three years, I see a Champions League final, a semi-final, the 10th league title, seven national trophies and I signed Messi,” he added.