Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is widely regarded as the best footballer in the world – and he’s soon to become the best-paid player on the planet too.
That’s according to The Daily Mail, who report that the player’s father, Jorge, has opened contract negotiations with the Catalan giants over an extension to his current deal.
Messi’s new deal is expected to increase year-on-year, with the 76-cap Argentine international earning £12.5 million-a-year net before bonuses at the highest level.
The contract is also likely to be heavily incentivised, with the paper reporting that the player’s pay after bonuses in any one season will automatically become his basic salary the following year – opening the possibility of multi-million pound increases each season.
Messi’s current net-take before bonuses is estimated to be in the region of £9 million, placing the forward behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto’o in the pay stakes.
Cristiano Ronaldo is thought to earn a similar amount in basic wages, although both have sponsorship and bonus payments to overtake their rivals.
David Beckham is the king when it comes to add-ons however, and despite not currently having a club, he sandwiches ‘the big two’ on the rich list with £26.2 million.
Four Premier League players make the Top Ten, with Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney the highest from England’s elite league in fifth place (£17.2 million).
Rivals Manchester City have two players on the list, with Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure in seventh and eighth respectively. Chelsea star Fernando Torres is ninth on the list, with Real Madrid utility man Kaka hanging on to the rich boys in bottom spot.
Top Ten richest players:
1) Lionel Messi - Barcelona (£27.5m)
2) David Beckham - Free agent (£26.2m)
3) Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid (£24.3m)
4) Samuel Eto'o - Anzhi Makhachkala (£19.4m)
5) Wayne Rooney - Manchester United (£17.2m)
6) Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Paris St Germain (£16m)
7) Sergio Aguero - Manchester City (£15.7m)
8) Yaya Toure - Manchester City (£14.7m)
9) Fernando Torres - Chelsea (£13.9m)
10) Kaka - Real Madrid (£12.9m)