Paris St Germain have confirmed the signing of Argentina superstar Lionel Messi.

The 34-year-old, who has left Barcelona as a free agent after 21 years, has joined the Ligue 1 giants on a two-year deal with the option of a third.

A statement from the club said: "Paris St Germain is delighted to announce the signing of Leo Messi on a two-year contract with an option of a third year.

"The six-time Ballon d'Or winner is justifiably considered a legend of the game and a true inspiration for those of all ages inside and outside football.

"The signing of Leo reinforces Paris St Germain's aspirations as well as providing the club's loyal fans with not only an exceptionally talented squad, but also moments of incredible football in the coming years."

The Argentina international, who scored 672 goals in 778 appearances for the Catalan giants, headed for France on Tuesday two days after bidding a tearful farewell to the club he had helped to win 35 trophies for.

The two parties were unable to agree a contract extension which satisfied LaLiga's financial regulations, despite the player's offer to take a 50% wage cut.

His move to France, however, has proved extremely lucrative with some reports suggesting he will earn €35m a year.

Messi said: "I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain. Everything about the club matches my football ambitions. I know how talented the squad and the coaching staff are here.

"I am determined to help build something special for the club and the fans, and I am looking forward to stepping out onto the pitch at the Parc des Princes."

Messi will wear the number 30 shirt, the club confirmed in a video posted on its Twitter feed, headlined "a new diamond in Paris".

Messi, who won four Champions Leagues and 10 domestic league titles with Barcelona, joins several other big names arriving at PSG on a free transfer this summer.

Spain defender Sergio Ramos was no longer wanted at Real Madrid, Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum had run down his contract with Liverpool and Italy's Euro 2020-winning goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma also joined after his contract with AC Milan ran out.

The arrival of Messi, whose last contract with Barcelona was worth a total of €555 million and reported to be the most lucrative in world sport, is also set to provoke a renewed new debate about UEFA's financial fair play rules.

Soccer's European governing body introduced the rules in 2009 in an attempt to restrict the power of free-spending owners to buy success, but their success is debatable.

PSG chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi said: "I am delighted that Lionel Messi has chosen to join Paris Saint-Germain and we are proud to welcome him and his family to Paris.

"He has made no secret of his desire to continue competing at the very highest level and winning trophies, and naturally our ambition as a club is to do the same.

"The addition of Leo to our world-class squad continues a very strategic and successful transfer window for the club. Led by our outstanding coach and his staff, I look forward to the team making history together for our fans all around the world."

Listen to the RTÉ Soccer podcast on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

We need your consent to load this SoundCloud contentWe use SoundCloud to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences