By Ben Husband
Lionel Messi had his free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain confirmed on Tuesday, with his old rival cheekily offered the chance to join him the French top-flight
Cristiano Ronaldo has laughed off Jose Fonte’s plea to join Lionel Messi in Ligue 1 next season.
Messi officially completed his move to Paris Saint-Germain earlier this week after his long association with Barcelona came to an end.
In an emotional press conference on Sunday, the goalscoring phenomenon admitted he wanted to stay at the Camp Nou, only for financial restrictions to prohibit the Catalan giants from being able to sanction a deal.
He will now join the French giants on a two-year deal worth a whopping £22million-per-year.
It will mark the first time that Messi has played club football outside of Spain, while Ronaldo has enjoyed success in Portugal, England, Spain and currently Italy.
( Image: Aurelien Meunier /PSG via Getty Images)
However, when presented with the opportunity to join the current Ligue 1 champions, he appeared less than convinced.
Portugal teammate Jose Fonte revealed he had sent an audacious text message to his compatriot telling him to join Lille to rival Messi once again.
“I feel great. I feel great because it’s incredible to hear a player like Lionel Messi is in French football in our league,” Fonte told talkSPORT.
“It’s exciting. Obviously, in terms of competitors, it’s going to be even harder for us but we’re up for a challenge – I’m texting Cristiano to come to Lille every day! He’s only replied ‘ha ha ha.'”
And while Fonte is excited to test himself against PSG’s stunning attacking trio, he did question how the deal was able to be completed while much of the game struggles with finances.
He added: “Imagine if we keep a clean sheet against them [Messi, Neymar and Mbappe]! It will just value us even more even if we do it.
“Incredible front three. Are they going to defend? I don’t know. It will be interesting to see the competitiveness of the league this year.
“I want to touch on another aspect though. I just want to understand the Financial Fair Play in France.
“Every single club is restricting their spending. They can’t buy a lot, they can’t get players on big wages but then PSG comes and it looks like there’s no law.”
Messi will hold a press conference on Wednesday (10 am BST) to fully discuss his move but has already offered a glimpse into why he made the decision to move to the French capital.
“I am impatient to start a new chapter of my career in Paris. The club and its vision are in perfect harmony with my ambitions,” said the Argentina star.
“I know how talented the players and staff are here. I am determined to build, alongside them, something great for the club and for the fans. I can’t wait to set foot on the Parc des Princes pitch.”