Paris Saint-Germain unveiled their five new all-stars to a packed-out Parc des Princes stadium on Saturday night, prior to their dramatic 4-2 victory over Strasbourg.
Achraf Hakimi, Georginio Wijnaldum, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos and finally Lionel Messi were all welcomed to Paris by a raucous home crowd, who chanted the quintet’s names and cheered their every word as they spoke of their pride in joining the French giants.
Hakimi confessed his happiness in joining PSG from Inter, where he had just been crowned a champion of Italy with I Nerazzurri. Les Parisiens splashed a huge €70m on the right-back, and he has already begun repaying their faith with a goal on his debut.
Next up was Wijnaldum, who left Liverpool at the end of his contract to join PSG on a free transfer. He said all the right things to the fans, and stressed that ‘anything is possible’ with their support.
“I already played here one time and I saw how passionate the fans were, and I know that with these fans, anything is possible,” Wijnaldum said.
Donnarumma was the third to be introduced, and he couldn’t hide his delight at joining PSG from boyhood club Milan. The Italian goalkeeper was voted the Best Player at Euro 2020, proving pivotal in two penalty shootout wins on the way to European glory.
“For me, it was an incredible summer, then I joined this amazing club. It’s an honour to play here, like all my teammates we want to win everything together,” Donnarumma said.
“It’s a very special day for me, we have a great team, a great project, we want to win everything. We are in a working dynamic and we are going to try to have a great season and offer all the possible titles to all the fans.”
Last but not least, was Messi. The Barcelona legend left Camp Nou due to the Catalan side’s financial woes, and made the incredible switch to the French capital. He has become an instant hero in Paris, and he was quick to thank the enchanted supporters for their warm welcome.
“It is a very happy day for me. The reception is incredible. It was a very special week for me. I want to thank these people for welcoming me since I arrived in Paris. I am very excited and happy to be here, on this new stage. Hopefully we can enjoy this year and have a great year. I’m very excited about all this,” Messi confessed.
Messi, Ramos and Donnarumma watched on as PSG earned a 4-2 victory over Strasbourg on Saturday, although they had to survive a second half scare, as the visitors reduced a three-goal deficit to come within one of an unthinkable draw.
Kylian Mbappe, who was booed before the game, was the star of the show however, scoring once and assisting twice to secure the three points for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.