Lionel Messi revealed Neymar and Mauricio Pochettino played major roles in his move to Paris Saint-Germain.
The 34-year-old, who left Barcelona last week in a shock exit via a free transfer, took part in a press conference at the Parc des Princes before he was presented to the club’s raucous supporters and ultras outside the stadium.
Reports claimed former Barcelona teammate Neymar was messaging Messi continuously over recent months over a move to France, with the former Barcelona captain revealing that he was influenced by the Brazilian winger.
Speaking about Neymar, Messi revealed at the press conference, “I know him well. We were apart before but I think we are better together. Neymar was one of the reasons I came here.
“I know all of my team mates though. We’ve all met many times before. I can’t wait to play with the team-mates that I have, we have the same objectives.”
Messi also provided insight into his conversation with PSG head coach Pochettino, whom he telephoned before deciding to sign his contract with the French giants.
“The coach and coaching staff had a big part in the negotiations,’ Messi claimed. “When I saw it was possible, I spoke with him (Pochettino) straight away. I’ve known him for a while.
“I spoke to him, the fact we are two Argentines helped a lot. We spoke, it went well to begin with. The technical staff at PSG helped my decision.”
The Argentine was emotional in his Barcelona farewell press conference on Sunday and revealed in his PSG introduction on Wednesday that he wants to return to the club he played over 700 games for and won 35 major trophies with, “Everything that has happened to me this last week has been hard, quick and emotional.
“I can’t believe what I lived and experienced in Barcelona but I feel impatient and happy at this new life with my family as well. I am very happy. This whole week I have gone through ups and downs but we are processing it everyday little by little.
“It would be good to return to Barcelona. But I can’t wait to play here as well.
“Everyone knows that I left Barcelona a few days ago, it was tough because I was there for several years but since I arrived here I felt a great happiness and a great eagerness to start training.
“I can’t wait to join my team-mates the head coach and to start this new stage. I want to thank (sporting director) Leonardo, the president and all the club for the way this happened.
“After the press release from Barcelona they (PSG) took their position and it was very quick. It did not take long, it was a difficult decision and I want to thank everybody at PSG for what they did for me.”