Having to leave Barcelona came as a shock to Lionel Messi, but the Argentina forward said familiar faces have helped him to settle at Paris Saint-Germain.
Messi was reunited with Neymar at PSG, after he and the Brazilian played together for four seasons at Barcelona from 2013-17, and joined compatriots Leandro Paredes and Angel Di Maria and coach Mauricio Pochettino, also an Argentine.
“That was a big part of my decision because I knew I was coming to a new country. Knowing that I had friends in the dressing room made me think that things would be easier to adapt to,” Messi told France Football on Saturday.
“And I was not wrong, because it was very easy to settle, especially because there are many players who speak Spanish, like me, and some friends like ‘Ney’, ‘Lea’ (Paredes), ‘Fideo’ (Di Maria), who helped me when I arrived.”
Messi forms, with Neymar and France striker Kylian Mbappe, one of the most formidable attacking line-ups in the world.
“With a player like him (Mbappe), it’s easy to get along. Also, Kylian speaks perfect Spanish, so we have good exchanges off the pitch as well,” said Messi.
“It makes things easier. Now I’ve only been here a short time, so it’s still a bit early to draw conclusions.”