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After two hours of waiting in the press room which resulted in a few Italian based reporters leaving the Parc des Princes due to the prolonged delay, Edinson Cavani was presented to the world as a Paris Saint-Germain player. The most expensive acquisition in the club’s history at €64m and exceeding the Ligue 1 record which was only set last month by Monaco who splurged €60m on Radamel Falcao. No doubt this is currently a purple patch for French football in terms of luring star names.
First and foremost, Nasser Al-Khelaifi paid a nice touch at the beginning of the presser to Leonardo by thanking his ‘friend’ for the wonderful work he has done for the club during his two-year tenure as director of football. It was announced that yesterday was indeed his last day in the job and he would not be leaving at the end of the transfer window as we all expected. Leo has left a legacy in terms of broadening the image of the football club with his recruitment and bows out on a high by helping entice one of the world’s best strikers in world football. Merci Leo.
Introducing his latest recruit, Al-Khelaifi confirmed that Cavani has indeed signed a five-year contract. It was also leaked beforehand that he will wear the number nine shirt which was preceded by Guillaume Hoarau before he moved to China back in January.
The Uruguayan, accompanied by an interpreter, gave some insight into his decision to move to the Parc des Princes. He pointed out the fact that the project enticed him as well as linking up with friends such as Javier Pastore, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Diego Lugano who has played with at Palermo, Napoli and Uruguay respectively. On top of that he specified that the club’s ambition in the Champions League was a factor, believing the team can challenge. Speaking of the UCL, Al-Khelaifi stated that the club still harbours the ambition of winning the competition within four years.
Cavani, who is nicknamed ‘El Matador’, may have lacked any French lingo but he still came across as an impressive human being. He had a simple message for the Parisien faithful which will ring soundly in their ears; “To all the PSG fans. I come here with a desire to give everything and achieve great things.”
What was definitive in the presser was Al-Khelafi’s insistence that Cavani was brought in to play with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Cavani echoed that testament by saying he cannot wait to play with the Swede and wants to win titles with him. This signing has put Ibra’s future in major doubt, especially after Naples president Aurelio De Laurentiis said Zlatan would be departing Paris. Nevertheless, the PSG president was adamant that the Swede will be at the Parc next season and hopefully he is telling the truth. The thought of an Ibra/Cavani duo is hysterically exciting from a PSG point of view.