This has been a gigantic week for France’s Ligue 1. That is because Paris Saint-Germain, the most famous professional soccer team in France, signed Lionel Messi from FC Barcelona on Tuesday. In what could be considered the biggest signing in European football in quite some time, as the Argentinian super striker signed a two-year deal worth up to 70 million Euros according to ESPN.
With Paris Saint Germain, Messi will have one huge assignment. That is to guide PSG to a Ligue 1 title after Lille won in 2020-21. It would be only the second time since 2013, Paris Saint-Germain did not win.
Just how big and meaningful is this signing? Well over the last decade, you could argue that Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been the most consistent players. You could make the argument that Messi and Ronaldo have been passed by Poland’s Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich, and Italy’s Ciro Immobile of Lazio, as the current best football players in the world, but Messi continues to be a dynamic striker in every sense of the word, who can change the entire complexion of a game at anytime with his foot. There is no doubt he still has more to give, and will be a powerful force on the pitch not only in Ligue 1 action, but the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with Argentina as well.
First and foremost, Messi gives Ligue 1 legitimacy. For the last several years you could argue Ligue 1 was behind England’s Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga, and Italy’s Serie A among Europe’s super five leagues. Now you could make the argument that with the Messi signing, France has significantly closed the gap, especially when you consider they are also the reigning World Cup champions.
At 34 years old, Messi is the current captain of the Argentinian National Team. He has won six European Golden Shoes, six Ballon d’Or awards, four UEFA Champions League titles, 10 La Liga titles, and in 2021, won his first major international soccer championship when he was part of the Argentinian squad that won the COPA Americas title in Brazil.