The micro-economy spinning round Messi’s Paris journey By Reuters





© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Soccer Soccer – Lionel Messi arrives in Paris to hitch Paris St Germain – Paris-Le Bourget Airport, Paris, France – August 10, 2021 Paris St Germain followers have a good time as they await the arrival of Lionel Messi exterior Paris-Le Bourget airport REU


By Richard Lough

PARIS (Reuters) – For Paris photographer Olivier Sanchez, there is just one story on the town: the brand new lifetime of Lionel Messi.

Newspapers and magazines all over the world harangue his Crystal Photos company for photos of the Argentine footballer, his spouse and youngsters settling into the French capital a month after arriving.

“At this time, for me, it’s Messi and nobody else,” he stated. “Everyone needs a chunk of him. He’s king. Easy.”

When Messi’s childhood membership FC Barcelona introduced they might not afford to maintain the six-times Ballon d’Or winner, French membership Paris St Germain (PSG) swooped.

PSG agreed a staggering internet wage of 71 million euros ($84 million) over two years, in line with media, however membership chairman Nasser al-Khelaifi stated bluntly that folks can be “shocked” by the income he would fetch.

The cash practice extends far past the membership.

From luxurious actual property brokers to Argentine restaurant house owners, paparazzi to personal concierge, Messi represents a monetary alternative.

Sanchez stated he had not less than two photographers accumulating ideas and following Messi and PSG for the primary pictures of the household once they lastly break cowl from their resort.

In Barcelona, he received the admiration of locals for his down-to-earth life-style, waving at neighbours, having fun with seafront meals and taking his youngsters to bouncy castles.

“If we will get them in a park, or strolling on the town, or out at Disneyland Paris, the newspapers will lap it up,” Sanchez stated.

Luxurious actual property agent Susie Hollands, in the meantime, is scouring the marketplace for a property worthy of a person listed by Forbes because the world’s second highest-paid athlete in 2021. Hollands, founding father of boutique actual property group Vingt Paris, has collaborated with PSG earlier than and is acquainted with gamers’ calls for.

“Sometimes, they’ll need 1,000 sq. metres – that hardly exists in central Paris – and parking for his or her automobiles,” Hollands stated.

High-notch safety and privateness are additionally vital.

One PSG participant, whose housing Hollands labored on, was paying 35,000 euros ($30,000) monthly, she stated, including that such a rental contract would earn her 50,000-60,000 euros in charges.

“We’re looking to see if we will discover one thing. However you both have it or you do not,” Hollands stated, including that she was one in all a choose group of brokers the membership labored with.


For a number of years after the Emir of Qatar purchased PSG in 2011, Yves Abitbol’s concierge firm helped settle a few of its highest-profile gamers, organising the home hunt, coping with banking and insurance coverage paperwork, and discovering home workers.

Generally he catered for a participant’s fancier wants, together with visits to sports activities automotive dealerships and luxurious watch boutiques.

Abitbol stated his agency MyConcierge had labored intently with PSG till it created its personal inner crew a number of years in the past, reducing the likes of him out.

Nonetheless, Abitbol’s upmarket journey company has seen a Messi bounce. “I’ve obtained individuals all over the world asking us to organise three days in Paris with seats for match day to look at Messi,” he stated.

The red-hot demand to see Messi in particular person – even when he was simply watching from the stands somewhat than taking part in – noticed tickets for PSG’s first sport after his signing, at residence to Strasbourg, promote secondhand for over 800 euros.

On Wednesday evening, he was set to hitch fellow superstars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in a daunting attacking trio away to Brugge within the Champions League.

His quantity 30 jersey, which retails at 108 euros, has bought quicker than every other, PSG stated. Exercise tracker Talkwalker stated that from the Friday Messi was first linked to the membership in early August to the next Tuesday when he signed, PSG gained 3 million followers throughout social media platforms.

Once more, the membership was not alone

“We noticed a soar on social media,” stated Enrique Tirigall, co-founder of Volver, an upmarket Argentine restaurant chain in Paris. Reservations for his flagship steakhouse, a preferred hang-out for PSG stars together with Messi compatriot Angel Di Maria, flooded in after the Argentine sealed his deal.

“Everyone wish to eat what he eats,” Tirigall stated.

($1 = 1.1814 euros)