Paris (AFP)

Free to engage where he wants after having written his legend at FC Barcelona, ​​the superstar Lionel Messi continues the suspense around his future, Paris SG remaining "a possibility" for the decision that the football world awaits.

PSG supporters waited for him on Sunday and Monday in front of Le Bourget airport, and at the entrance to the Parc des Princes.

But the Argentine "Pulga" - the "Puce" in Spanish, her nickname - stayed at home, with her family, with her friend Luis Suarez, in the suburbs of Barcelona.

His tranquility contrasts with the effervescence of social networks and the impatience of Parisian fans, ready to welcome one of the best footballers in history.

The players in Ligue 1, too, shared their enthusiasm during the weekend about the possible arrival of the six-fold Golden Ball.

Since the brutal announcement Thursday of Messi's departure from his lifelong club, Barça, PSG appears to be the most likely destination for the 34-year-old Argentinian.

"It's a possibility," the striker confirmed on Sunday when bidding farewell to the Blaugrana club.

“Honestly, I got a lot of calls, from a lot of clubs when the press release (of his departure) came out. At this point, nothing has been done,” he continued.

The French press evokes the mutual interest between the two parties, and PSG's proposal for a contract of at least two years, with a net annual salary of around 40 million euros.

Lionel Messi leaves Barça after 21 years Pau BARRENA AFP / Archives

Such emoluments would place Messi at the level of Neymar (36 million euros), the highest paid footballer in France.

But without his presence in the capital, no signature: the "Pulga" plays with the nerves of the supporters, in the same way that he dribbles his opponents in the stadiums.

- Friend of Neymar -

Sunday, he preferred to dedicate to Barça what could be his last weekend as a free player.

In the bowels of Camp Nou where he wrote his legend, Messi, in tears, proclaimed his love for the club where he arrived at 13 years old.

"I never imagined my farewell because the truth is I wasn't thinking about it," he said, revealing that he had offered to cut his salary in half so that he could stay.

But Barca have given up on extending their huge contract, which expired in June, which placed too high a risk on their bloodless finances.

Lionel Messi's main records with FC Barcelona Vincent LEFAI AFP / Archives

The opportunity was too good for PSG, whose wealthy Qatari owner QSI is in perpetual pursuit of superstars to develop his brand.

The financial strength of QSI and the relaxation of UEFA's financial fair play rules made possible an operation that no one imagined at the start of the summer.

Contact between Messi and PSG dates back at least to the summer of 2020, when the Argentinian expressed his desire to leave Barça.

But at the time, it had not gone that far, with the player having found common ground with the Catalan club to extend for a year.

The N.10 also counts among his friends the Brazilian Neymar, with whom he played between 2013 and 2017. The two men spent an evening together, in early August, during a vacation in Ibiza with Angel di Maria, Leandro Paredes and Marco Verratti, three other PSG players.

Paris SG, which won in Troyes on Saturday in Ligue 1 (2-1), paved the way for this "big bang" capable of taking it to another dimension, both sporting and economic.

Today, he is just waiting for a sign.

© 2021 AFP

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