A jubilant celebration for Lionel Messi's arrival in Paris turned chaotic as fans clashed with police
- A small number of fans celebrating Lionel Messi's arrival at Paris Saint-Germain clashed with police.
- A journalist outside PSG's stadium said small clashes started when a fan let off a flare in a crowd.
- Thousands of fans had gathered outside to celebrate the signing of soccer's greatest star.
Jubilant Paris Saint-Germain fans celebrating the arrival of Lionel Messi clashed with police and security Wednesday as supporters gathered outside the club's stadium.
Messi joined the Parisian club on Tuesday night, signing a two-year deal worth a reported $35 million per season, confirming one of the biggest and most shocking transfers in soccer history as the Argentine left FC Barcelona, his club of more than 20 years.
PSG's supporters were understandably delighted, and thousands took to the streets of Paris to celebrate the news, with large crowds gathering outside the Parc des Princes, the team's home ground, Wednesday morning.
That morning Messi gave a press conference, posed for photos with a club jersey, then went outside to greet the mass of fans waiting to see him.
After he went inside, however, there were small pockets of disruption, with a significant number of fans clashing with police and security guards, according to video taken outside the ground.
In one video, tweeted by the TV producer Renata Heilborn, fans can be seen scuffling with police and private security.
According to Heilborn's accompanying tweet, the scuffles began when a fan let off a flare in the crowd. Police officers attempted to intervene, but were then set upon by the fans, she said.
-Renata Heilborn (@HeilbornRenata) August 11, 2021
Fans were largely peaceful, with the vast majority simply wanting to catch a glimpse of arguably the greatest soccer player of all time.
Messi could make his debut in PSG's Ligue 1 game against Strasbourg on Saturday, though that may be too soon for the forward, who has been a free agent since July 1 and as such has not had much of a pre-season.
PSG's next match after Saturday is on August 20 against Stade Brestois.
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