Georginio Wijnaldum long thought he would be a FC Barcelona player next season.

However, the thirty-year-old midfielder surprisingly exchanged Liverpool transfer-free for Paris Saint-Germain on Friday.

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"I made a different choice, which was very difficult," Wijnaldum said on Saturday at a press conference in Zeist, where he is preparing with the Dutch national team for the first group match at the European Championship against Ukraine on Sunday.

Last year there were rumors that Wijnaldum would have reached a personal agreement with Barcelona.

His management was even spotted at Camp Nou recently, but he is leaving for Paris.

"I negotiated with Barcelona for four weeks and unfortunately we did not come to an agreement. Paris Saint-Germain was faster and more decisive. And the project they have there appeals to me very much," said Wijnaldum.

'I felt like playing in a team'

Wijnaldum signed a three-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain until mid-2024. He will reportedly receive an annual salary of €9.5 million, which would be almost double what he had at Barcelona, ​​where he could have been reunited with coach Ronald Koeman. could have earned.

"It is a relief that I was able to complete the transfer for the European Championship, because I felt it was going to play a part in the team. It was a hectic week, but I can now be fully focused on the tournament. I am very happy that I have clarity," Wijnaldum said.

"Again, it was a difficult choice. They are two big clubs that you want to play for. I have to say that I also thought I would go to Barcelona, ​​also because they were the only club that was really interested at the time. couldn't figure it out and with Paris Saint-Germain they did."

Wijnaldum has played for Liverpool since 2016, where he was very successful with wins of the Premier League, Champions League and World Cup for clubs.

Before that he was active at Feyenoord, PSV and Newcastle United.

The counter stands at 75 international matches.

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See also: View the schedule and group division of the European Championship