Lionel Messi’s latest contract with Barcelona stands at 555 million euros ($ 881 million) over four seasons, El Mundo newspaper reported on Sunday.
The Spanish daily said it had access to the document Messi signed with the Catalan club in 2017, which included fixed income and variables of up to nearly 138 million euros ($ 219 million) each season. The newspaper said it was the most expensive contract ever paid to an athlete.
Messi is expected to pay around half that amount in taxes in Spain.
The report says the 33-year-old has already secured more than 510 million euros ($ 810 million) from the total contract.
The leak comes as Barcelona try to manage huge debt mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic. The club have been run by an interim board since president Josep Bartomeu resigned in October as he faced a motion of no confidence. New presidential elections are scheduled for March 7.
The newspaper also detailed how Messi has rewarded the club over the years, having helped them win over 30 titles.
Messi has been at Barcelona for almost two decades but asked to leave at the end of last season after saying he was not happy with the direction the club has taken. He saw his request refused but will be able to leave for free at the end of this season.
Barcelona can move up to second place in the Spanish league with a home win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
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