Messi at the Eiffel Tower & the five greatest transfer unveilings

Cameron Smith

Lionel Messi's move to Paris Saint-Germain seems to be progressing well, with talks still ongoing between the two parties.

Having left Barcelona after 17 years due to the financial issues that the Blaugrana are currently facing, Messi has reportedly decided upon PSG as his next destination.

As such, the Parisians are said to have reserved the Eiffel Tower on Tuesday, 10 August in preparation for Messi's arrival.

This is significant as PSG also reserved the Eiffel Tower when they unveiled both Neymar and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and it's understood that they will do the same with Messi.

Extravagant player unveilings are by no means new in football, and over the years, several high-profile players have been presented before the masses.

Here are five of the greatest transfer unveilings.

Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid

It was a world record fee at the time, and continued Real Madrid's hunt for Galacticos. Cristiano Ronaldo was the best player in the world at the time, and Los Blancos paid €94 million (£80m) to sign him from Manchester United.

With Ronaldo joining, the Real Madrid fans turned up for the biggest unveiling in history. The Santiago Bernabeu was full to the brim as if a match was taking place, and 80,000 fans welcomed Ronaldo to the Spanish capital.

A stage was set up on the pitch, and Ronaldo did the traditional keepy-ups to entertain the crowd. It was a major event, and signalled the start of Ronaldo's historic Real Madrid career.

Diego Maradona to Napoli

Similar to Ronaldo's unveiling, Diego Maradona's took place 25 years earlier. Back in 1984, the Argentine superstar joined Napoli, and the scenes were crazy.

Fireworks were set off, and 75,000 fans turned up to welcome Maradona to Naples.

He became a hero at Napoli, and after his unfortunate death aged 60, the club renamed their stadium the 'Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.'

Carlos Tevez to Boca Juniors

In typical South American style, Carlos Tevez's unveiling back in Argentina was eventful to say the least. The third biggest in history, an estimated 60,000 people were packed into La Bombonera stadium to see Tevez return home.

Carlos Tevez returned to Argentina as a hero

Carlos Tevez returned to Argentina as a hero

With flares and fireworks aplenty, the stadium was lit up by phone torches, and Tevez wandered around the pitch with his family.

It was a reunion fit for such a talented player.

Kaka to Real Madrid

Despite arriving in the same summer as Ronaldo, Kaka didn't quite attract the same interest as the Portuguese star.

However, 50,000 fans still turned up to the Bernabeu to welcome the Brazilian No.10.

He never hit his Milan heights at Real Madrid, but Los Blancos faithful weren't to know that when they filed into the stadium to see their new signing for the first time.

James Rodriguez to Real Madrid

It's fair to say Real know how the unveil a superstar. James Rodriguez arrived at the club as the fourth most expensive player in history, and was greeted by an estimated 45,000 fans.

Many were from his native Colombia and waved the country's flag with pride.

He also needed to be saved from a pitch invader by a security guard. Excited by James' arrival, the fan ran onto the pitch, and the playmaker proceeded to hand him a football.

The move may have experienced a sour end, but James' arrival was one of genuine excitement.

The strangest transfer unveilings

Now we've dealt with the biggest player unveilings, here are a few examples of the weirder and wackier ones.

Paolo Di Canio to Sheffield Wednesday saw one of the stranger transfer unveilings ever. Along with new teammate Benito Carbone, Di Canio was unveiled while taking a bite of a pizza, as Sheffield tried to embrace its new Italian star.

Santi Cazorla to Villarreal also saw an unusual unveiling. Having signed from Arsenal, after being told he'd never play football again, Cazorla's return to the game was a miracle, as was his unveiling.

The club decided to use a smoke-filled container in which Cazorla would appear after a magician's touch.

It worked quite well, although only 1,000 fans were there to see it live.

Bryan Robson to Middlesbrough wasn't traditional in any way. Robson was announced as player-manager, and the club decided the best way to unveil him would be to wear half the football kit from the waist down, and a suit and tie on his upper body.

A very strange way to announce your new player-manager, but the move worked out as Boro were able to attract stars with the name of Robson in the dugout.