Lionel Messi: Barcelona will have to pay Argentine £170k-a-week until 2025 even if he leaves

Lionel Messi looks likely to leave Barcelona at the end of the season

We've certainly seen the very best of Lionel Messi during Barcelona's last two La Liga games.

The Argentine's first appearance of the new year on January 6th saw him notch a brace in a hard-fought 3-2 victory away at Athletic Bilbao.

Last Saturday, the 33-year-old magician followed that up with another brace in a 4-0 win over Granada to move Barca up to third in the table.

Messi has now scored 11 La Liga goals in 2020/21, which is more than any other player in the division. Not bad for someone having a poor season, eh?

Of course, Messi's return to form is bittersweet for Barca fans, as the Argentine still looks likely to leave the club in the summer when his contract expires.

Messi in action

Losing him will be a devastating blow for the Blaugrana and certainly not just from a footballing perspective.

According to Spanish publication Marca, Messi will still have a significant impact on the club's finances even if he departs Catalonia in the summer.

How is that possible? Well, when the global icon renewed his contract in 2017, Barca increased his salary by €100m and agreed to pay him a €78m bonus, to be delivered in two €39m instalments.

The first was only paid back in July, with the second scheduled to start being paid at the end of the 2020/21 season and it will be handed to Messi in eight parts across four years.

Messi takes a free-kick

That means that, even if he leaves the club, Barca will be paying their greatest ever player the equivalent of around £170,000-a-week until 2025.

Madness, absolute madness.

So even if Messi joins Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain - where he'd no doubt be earning one of the biggest sporting salaries on the planet - he'll still be pocketing more than most players do a week from Barca.

It's alright for some...

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