This Wednesday was not a day like the others, at the official store of Paris-Saint-Germain, on the Champs-Elysées, in Paris. The day after the announcement of the arrival of Argentinian striker Lionel Messi within the Parisian football club, supporters were present in large numbers to get the jersey of the new recruit, sold for the first time in stores and already out of stock on the Internet.
“There are a lot of people, we sell a lot of jerseys today”, confides a saleswoman, who hastens to end the conversation to return to the customers. Price comparator Idealo announced on Wednesday that it had recorded a jump of 850% in demand for PSG jerseys during the week of the announcement of his transfer. “This is a figure that is well linked to the arrival of Messi because, as soon as we heard the rumor, we have seen the increase accelerate ”, says Anna Perret-Silberberg, press relations manager at Idealo.
Outside the shop, a queue stretched out in the afternoon for several tens of meters. “It was worse this morning, there were so many people that I left to come back later”, says Karim, who came especially from Switzerland with his friend to have a chance to win his jersey among the first. “We came by car, we left at 1 am. For Messi, there are plenty of people who do that ”, says the young man.
The supporters all speak of a historic day, which justifies the choice to make this purchase under such special conditions. “I needed it today because tomorrow everyone will have it. I have forty football t-shirts and none have a player’s name on them. Except that, here, we are dealing with Messi. It’s historic. In a hundred years, we will talk about him as we talk about Maradona today ”, proclaims Olivier Marcou, 38-year-old supporter and already holder of the precious number 30 jersey, on behalf of the Argentinian player.
The garment costs between 90 and 165 euros, the price varying according to the size and the quality of the fabric. “Obviously, we pay more for the brand than the T-shirt. Have you seen what a mom does for the love of sports? “, launches Asia, who came from Val-d’Oise to give it to her son. Under the large portrait of Lionel Messi displayed above the entrance to the shop, Sam, a Marseillais visiting Paris, is waiting to be able, finally, to cross the doorstep. His phone rings. A friend calls him to beg him to get him the jersey too. Sam gives in and promises to buy it for him. “Okay, I’ll leave you, I’ll be the client”, quips the young man before entering the shop.