Lionel Messi beats Cristiano Ronaldo to landmark as Man Utd lose club record

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The Argentine superstar joining Paris Saint-Germain a year ago and has shattered the record of player shirt sales meaning that Manchester United no longer hold that record

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi’s high-profile summer transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain last summer has not entirely gone to plan off the pitch but he has generated a new record.

PSG sold over one million shirts for the first time last season with ‘Messi 30’ accounting for over 60 per cent of that figure, which is the record for any player. It means the Argentine’s shirt sales surpassed that of Cristiano Ronaldo – who returned to Manchester United last summer from Juventus – and that the English giants are no longer the club that sells the most replica shirts.

Almost € 1million was generated in shirt sales alone in the hours following confirmation that Messi had joined the French club and would wear the number 30 shirts. The arrival of Messi also saw the club move its official store to the Champs-Elysees to double its surface area and increase its income from lifestyle products as well with its Jordan Brand also helping to drive sales.

PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi told Marca earlier this week when explaining that the arrival of the Argentine actually generated funds for the club: “If we make a signing, it is because we can. Look at the case of Messi. It was the same, “They said it was financially impossible and we have made money with Messi.”

Marc Armstrong, Chief Partnerships Officer at Paris Saint-Germain, is quoted by Marca as saying: “Demand has grown by 30 to 40 per cent and really what can slow it down is supply. When a signing of this size happens, [Cristiano] Ronaldo to [Manchester] United for example, you might think he’s going to get paid by selling shirts, but that’s not the case. You can not produce a lot of extra shirts.

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“The agreement is set to guarantee very important minimums but we can not meet the demand for Messi shirts. We have reached the ceiling. Nobody can meet that demand. We are already selling a lot of jerseys, maybe more than any other team in “The world for one player, and that puts us at the next level. We have a lot of demand for lifestyle products, the revenue with the Jordan brand is huge, but the demand grows even more when you sign a player like Messi.”

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Messi was handed the no. 30 shirt at PSG after he joined the club from Barcelona last summer
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Image:

STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP via Getty Images)

Armstrong also highlighted that the club’s marketing and sponsorship agreements had risen by 13 per cent following Messi’s arrival as they can now double their arrangements on many deals. Furthermore, he added that the club’s social media followings were growing by 1.4million per week and are now seeing a marked increase in ticket sales and demand. In total, the club believe they have generated £ 600million in revenue following Messi’s arrival

PSG chief Al-Khelaifi has struck a bullish tone on Messi’s form on the pitch and is confident his output will improve next season. He told Le Parisien: “There is no doubt that Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or a record seven times, and it was not his best season.

“But after more than 20 years in Barcelona, ​​he discovered a new country, a new city, a new league, a new team. A new culture. As well as his family, and he was injured also by the coronavirus. It was not easy for Messi last season, but next season we will see the best version of Messi ever. ”

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