Football: Lionel Messi 'dreaming of Champions League win' with PSG

Lionel Messi being unveiled at a PSG press conference. He won the last of his European titles with former Spanish side Barcelona in 2015 PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP, REUTERS) - Lionel Messi said on Wednesday (Aug 11) that he is "dreaming" of winning a fifth Champions League after signing a two-year contract with French powerhouses Paris Saint-Germain.

"I have said my dream is to win another Champions League and I think I'm in the ideal place to have that chance and to do it," he said as he was unveiled as a PSG player.

"That's why I am here. It's an ambitious club," Messi told a news conference. "You can see they're ready to fight for everything."

The 34-year-old claimed the last of his European titles with former Spanish side Barcelona in 2015, while the Qatari-owned Parisians are yet to clinch the continent's elite club competition.

The signing of Messi was in line with European football's financial fair play rules, the club's president stressed.

"We follow the financial fair play rules," Nasser al-Khelaifi said alongside the Argentinian superstar.

The owners of PSG, the deep-pocketed Qatar Sports Investment, have spent lavishly on its star-studded line-up in recent years and al-Khelaifi said people would be "shocked" by the financial revenues Messi would bring the club, though he quipped: "I hope Leo will not ask for more salary."

The Argentinian conceded that he did not know when he would be able to make his debut given he has not played since winning the Copa America with his country last month.

"I'm coming back from holiday, I've been a month off the pitch," he said.

"I need a bit of a pre-season and get myself going. Hopefully debuting can be soon but I can't give you a date. It's up to the coaches."

Messi on Sunday wept as he told Barcelona fans he was leaving his childhood club, and admitted that while he is sad, he is looking forward to the new challenge.

"I'll always be thankful to Barca and their fans. I went there as a boy, and we had some good and bad times," he said.

"The Barca fans knew I'd join a good club, fighting for the Champions League, because they know me, I like to win, I'm a winner and I want to carry on doing that.

"I don't doubt that PSG's objectives is to win and grow. It would be nice on the one hand to face them in the Champions League, especially with fans, but on the other strange to go back to my home in another team's shirt - but that's football."

Al-Khelaif added that star forward Kylian Mbappe has "no reason" to leave the Ligue 1 club after Messi's arrival.

The 22-year-old Frenchman is in the final year of his contract and has been linked with a move away from PSG, with Real Madrid interested in the 2018 World Cup winner.

"Kylian is a Parisian, he's very competitive. He said he wanted a competitive team," al-Khelaifi said.

"Now there's no-one more competitive than us. He has no reason to do anything else" other than stay, he added.

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