Barcelona players forced to hand cars back to Audi after sponsorship deal ends

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Despite earning an absolute fortune, footballers still get a lot of freebies.

Football clubs have sponsors and those sponsors will often give the players free stuff.

Barcelona’s superstars are used to getting all sorts of freebies - free boots, free suits and a lot more.

They also got their hands on some very expensive - but free for them, obviously - Audi cars last season.

They got to select any top-of-the-range model of their choosing, specced up to the max with any optional extra they might desire, according to The Sun.

Audi's Christian Guenthner added: "The Barca players are expected to use their car to get to and from training.

"For official business occasions they use their Audi. During the selection process Audi and the club work hand in hand. Players can choose from the whole range of models, usually starting with smaller cars for the younger players.

"They each get to choose a new model every season with a lot of optional extras. And with our Audi Exclusive catalogue options, there are infinitely many possibilities."

It was also revealed back in December which Audis the Barcelona players went for.

By squad number, the players (and manager Ernesto Valverde) chose the following:

1. Marc-André ter Stegen Audi SQ5 TFSI Mythos black (£71,000)

2. Nélson Semedo Audi Q7 Carrara white (£75,000)

3. Gerard Piqué Audi RS 6 Avant performance Daytona gray (£127,000)

4. Ivan Rakitić Audi Q7 Graphite gray (£65,000)

5. Sergio Busquets Audi R8 Coupé V10 plus Daytona gray (£192,000)

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6. Denis Suárez Audi Q7 Glacier white (£65,000)

8. Andrés Iniesta Audi SQ7 TDI Glacier white (£100,000)

9. Luis Suárez Audi RS 6 Avant performance Daytona gray (£127,000)

10. Lionel Messi Audi RS 6 Avant performance Sepang blue (£127,000)

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11. Ousmane Dembélé Audi RS3 Sportback Panther black (£56,000)

13. Jasper Cillessen Audi Q7 Ink blue (£65,000)

14. Philippe Coutinho Audi Q7 3.0 TDI (£65,000)

17. Paco Alcácer Audi RS3 Sportback Panther black (£56,000)

18. Jordi Alba Audi Q7 Sepang blue (£65,000)

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21. André Gomes Audi Q7 Florett silver (£65,000)

22. Aleix Vidal Audi R8 Spyder V10 Tango red (£185,000)

23. Samuel Umtiti Audi RS3 Sportback Catalunya red (£56,000)

24. Yerry Mina Audi Q7 3.0 TDI (£65,000)

25. Thomas Vermaelen Audi Q7 Florett silver (£65,000)

Coach. Ernesto Valverde Audi Q7 e-tron quattro Florett silver (£65,000)

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Some of those players no longer ply their trade at Camp Nou - but very generous from Audi, right?

Well, the sponsorship deal between Barcelona and Audi ended on June 30 and the multinational car company have now said that the players must return their vehicles, according to Spanish newspaper AS.

They’ve given the players a three-week window to return the cars. The latest they can hand them over is when they return from the pre-season tour in Asia.

This is a bit of a problem for some of the players, who only use their Audis.

Instructing the players to hand back the cars might be something of a PR own goal from the German automobile manufacturer.

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