Lionel Messi became an exceptionally wealthy man last November.
The Argentinian put pen to paper on a new contract at Barcelona that lasts until 2021, with the Daily Mail claiming he received an £80 million signing bonus to go along with his wages of £500,000-per-week.
In addition to that was a new release clause of £626m, pretty much ending the discussion that Messi could one day leave the Camp Nou.
If any footballer is worth those extraordinary sums of money, it’s Lionel Messi.
The Barcelona forward has won the Ballon d’Or five times and it’s widely regarded as the greatest to ever do it, better than Pele, Maradona and, yes, Cristiano Ronaldo.
The amount of money that Barcelona have made from him in shirt sales must be astronomical. Even those who don’t support the Blaugrana want a ‘Messi 10’ shirt.
And he’s helped them win eight La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies. Messi has certainly been worth the investment.
Football Leaks have revealed Messi's true salary
But it turns out that the figures reported by the media may be inaccurate.
According to Football Leaks (per mediapart), which has risen to prominence in recent years having leaked contract information of many top players, Messi is actually paid €100 million each year from Barcelona.
That’s a weekly wage of roughly €2m. Incredible.
Messi’s fixed income is little over €71m, 85 per cent of which is his salary and the other 15 per cent comes from image rights.
His contract also includes a loyalty bonus of €70m, paid if he doesn’t leave the club before his contract expires.
This amounts to a guaranteed minimum of €104m per season. Stunning.
Those numbers are taken before tax is taking into consideration. But they remain incredible nonetheless.
Messi 'met Real Madrid' in 2013
Apparently Barcelona upped Messi’s salary after he flirted with Real Madrid in 2013.
In 2016, Spanish radio station Cadena Cope claimed Messi met with Los Blancos on three separate occasions.
“The first attempt from Real Madrid to sign Messi happened in the summer of 2011,” it was reported, per the Mirror.
“At Madrid they feared that Cristiano Ronaldo would leave the club for a huge offer from Manchester City, and that was when they put into motion the work to replace him with another star.
“Real Madrid used an intermediary to arrange this meeting who wasn’t a club employee but was someone very close to Florentino Perez. The response was rapid and clear: ‘Thanks for the interest, but Leo isn’t moving.’”
And with such a hefty release clause, Messi's future remains at the Camp Nou.
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