A few days ago, the contract of Barcelona star Lionel Messi was leaked to Spanish newspaper El Mundo who then published details of the mega deal.
Details of the contract signed in 2017 have since gone viral with many people dissecting the various clauses and sums of money the Argentine has earned and stands to earn.
Messi, predictably was not pleased with the leak and has threatened legal action against the paper and everyone else responsible for the leak.
But why is Messi’s contract such a big deal?
First of all, Messi stands to earn €555,237,619 over the four-year period if some conditions are met.
If you feel that amount is eye-watering, the Argentine’s deal also features €115,225,000 as a signing-on bonus and €77,929,955 as a loyalty bonus.
With half-a-year left of the deal, Messi is estimated to have earned about €511,540,545 or €138,000,000 a season.
Messi also stands to earn £3.1 million if Barcelona win the Champions League this season and gets £1.75 million if he plays 60% of Barcelona’s games.
The player also received €695,748 for winning FIFA’s Best Player in the 2018-19 season.
He receives a bonus of between €9,463,064 and €4,731,532 for winning the league and a bonus of between €2,365,768 and €591,552 for winning the Ballon d’Or.
Other details in the contract were also revealed including a clause that Messi must “adopt a suitable personal conduct and rhythm of life” and must not be found guilty of doping.
Another clause ensured that Messi would be able to leave for free if Catalonia secured independence, resulting in Barcelona being kicked out of La Liga.
The details of the deal angered some Barcelona fans especially after the club’s financial report for the 2019-20 season showed a gross debt of €1.2billion
El Mundo’s headline, suggesting the “Messi would ruin Barcelona” also irked a number of people who agreed that the deal was excessive.
The Argentine, however, remains a huge financial draw for Barcelona, with tickets, shirts and paraphernalia sales attributed to his star power.
Twitter account Managing Barca explained that about 2 million Messi jerseys are sold annually between $100 and $200. That’s not accounting for the sponsorships, ticket sales and social media engagement on Barcelona’s various accounts which skyrocket with each Messi post, potentially earning the club a decent amount of revenue.