Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona: the most expensive football contract ever agreed
Spanish newspaper El Mundo published former Argentine forward and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi’s contract.
Details of the renewed contract extension worth €555,237,619 over a four-year period till June 2021 were exposed. The 33-year-old will earn €138m per season in fixed income plus variables. A renewal fee of €115,225,000 will be paid for just accepting the contract. In addition, there will be a loyalty bonus of €77,929,955 loyalty bonus. Fans had mixed reactions to the situation as the article was published as the headline of a national newspaper.
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According to the publication, the deal was the most expensive contract ever agreed with an athlete in sports history and arguably responsible for the club’s financial woes. So far, 6 months remain on the contract meaning he has earned 92 percent of the total sum.
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Last August, the Argentine attempted to leave the club by triggering a release clause but later dropped it to avoid a legal battle with the club. His controversial decision to move out last summer followed clashes he had with then club president Josep Maria Bartomeu who handed in his resignation last October. At the moment, Barca is trying to manage a huge debt resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Barcelona expresses regret
The lucrative deal has sparked mixed reactions promoting the club to issue a press release expressing “regret” over its publication. Barcelona intends to pursue legal action against the Newspaper El Mundo for any damage that may arise from the publication.
Some felt it was too much money while others believe the player deserves the money for all the contribution he has made to Barcelona’s success. In defense of the club’s top scorer, Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Front said that Messi has earned every euro paid to him while at Barca. He further described the Catalan forward as the “best player in history”.
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Lionel Mesi joined Barcelona at the age of 13 and has remained with the club ever since.
The Argentine forward has scored a record number of goals for his club, helping his team clinch 10 La Liga titles, four Champions League titles, and a six-time individual win of the Ballon d'Or.
Messi’s history with Barcelona
As an individual Argentine forward Lionel Messi has broken every record throughout his career. In 2005, he was the youngest player to score a league goal for Barcelona. This record has since been broken by Ansu Fati. During the 2011/12 season, Messi overtook César Rodríguez's goal tally of 232 to become the club’s all-time top scorer. To date, he has scored 650 goals for Barca in 755 games.
His football days began at Newell's Old Boys in 1995 where he played until 2000 before trying his luck at the Spanish club. On the field, he is known for his pace, unselfishness, excellent dribbling skills, composure, and goal-scoring ability.
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