The contract signed by the Argentine in 2017 shows some outlandish figures as reported by a prominent Spanish newspaper.
Lionel Messi signed his last contract with Barcelona during the 2017-18 season, which put his buyout clause reportedly at €700m. In their moment, El Mundo announced that they managed to procure a copy of the blockbuster contract signed by the Argentine in November 2017. The document contains details surrounding the fixed payments and add-ons that amount to a monumental deal worth €555m. This amounts to more than €138m in fixed payments alone. The deal is said to be the biggest ever in sports history.
The contract details that Messi gained €115.2m just for signing the contract and a loyalty bonus in the region of €78m. Now, in the final year of the deal, it is reported that Messi has earned more than 90% of its entire worth.
Despite the monstrous earnings that Messi has accrued at Barcelona, the future of the Argentine still remains in limbo after he disclosed ahead of the 2020-21 season that he had put in a request to leave his boyhood club due to a lack of direction and sporting ambition. The situation led to a transfer tug-of-war between him and the board, post which Messi eventually decided to stay and see out the final year of his contract.
Messi’s disgruntlement has particularly been focused on the Catalan club’s performances in the UEFA Champions League, where they are yet to reach a final since 2015. The results have also been particularly sour with humbling defeats to Roma and Liverpool, before the cataclysmic defeat against Bayern Munich in the quarterfinal last season.
Messi’s shocking announcement showed the ineptitude of the management under Josep Maria Bartomeu in managing their bulging wage bill as well as their transfer activity. The club are set to hold elections to elect a new President in March.
It remains to be seen if the new board will be able to bring a fresh perspective to the club and change the mind of their record goalscorer as well as six-time Ballon d’Or winner. It would mean that Messi would have to commit to a new contract in the summer to stay at FC Barcelona.