El Mundo says Lionel Messi’s deal is ‘the most important in sporting history’ and has contributed to the Catalan club’s financial woes.
Barcelona will take legal action against Spanish newspaper El Mundo after publishing details of Lionel Messi’s current contract, which they say is worth up to 555 million euros ($ 674 million) over four years.
The club also insisted on Sunday that it was not responsible for the leak, which it described as “a private document governed by the principle of confidentiality between the parties”. The club, however, did not deny details in the report.
El Mundo says the deal signed by football star Messi in 2017 is the “biggest in sports history” and that it contributed to the club’s recent financial woes, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-pandemic 19 – calling it the “colossal contract which ruins Barcelona”.
The 33-year-old could end up raising a maximum of 555,237,619 euros ($ 673,919,104) before it expires on June 30 of this year, if all conditions are met.
Messi is expected to pay around half that amount in taxes in Spain.
Six months from the end of the transaction, “the player has already earned 511,290,052 euros ($ 621 million), or nearly 92% of the possible total,” according to the report.
“In view of the information published today in the newspaper El Mundo, concerning the professional contract signed between FC Barcelona and the player Lionel Messi, the club regrets its publication since it is a private document governed by the principle of confidentiality between the parties, ”Barcelona said in a statement.
“FC Barcelona categorically declines any responsibility for the publication of this document and will take appropriate legal action against the newspaper El Mundo, for any damage that may be caused as a result of this publication.
“FC Barcelona express their absolute support for Lionel Messi, especially in the face of any attempt to discredit his image, and damage his relationship with the club where he worked to become the best player in the world and in football history . “
According to the report, Messi earned 115 million euros ($ 140 million) just for signing the contract in 2017 and among his potential bonuses is a reward of 3,548,644 euros ($ 4.3 million) for having won the Champions League and 2,365,766 euros ($ 2.9 million) for his victory. Spanish La Liga, El Mundo said.
Messi, who joined Barca in 2000 at the age of 13 and made his debut in 2004, is the club’s all-time goalscorer with 650 goals and has also provided 280 assists in 755 appearances for the Catalan club .
Messi has helped Barcelona win over 30 trophies.
Frustrated by Barca’s decline in recent years, Messi is expected to decide in the coming months whether he wants to stay at Barcelona or leave the club.
The Argentinian tried to leave Barca last August via a release clause in his contract, but ultimately decided to stay in order to avoid a lawsuit with the club.
Messi’s club contract eclipses that of other top earners in world sport.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed the biggest contract in North American sport last year, worth a minimum of $ 450 million, but it lasts 10 years.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract with Juventus is worth 30 million euros ($ 36.4 million) a year, but the bonuses may have increased to 70 million euros ($ 85 million) last season. Ronaldo also wins more endorsements than Messi.