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Barcelona owe €33 million loyalty bonus to Lionel Messi

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Barcelona reportedly owe their captain, Lionel Messi, a hefty €33 million as a loyalty bonus next summer when his contract expires with the club. ESPN quotes that Messi, who signed his last Barcelona contract in 2017, received half of the €66m bonus in February, and the rest of the amount is due in June when his contract comes to a close and he can leave for free.

The aforementioned source further claims that the 33-year-old received a renewal bonus "worth around €100m" when he penned down a new deal in 2017 and that amount was paid in instalments during the course of the tenure. Messi was willing to give up the €33 million he is due when he submitted an official transfer request during the summer transfer window.

The captain eventually decided to stay and his future now depends on who the next Barcelona president would be. Former president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, stepped down from his position last month, and the newcomer will have a lot of convincing to do. As things stand for Barcelona, the amount due to Messi will be a significant financial hit as the club has recently put work on wage deferrals for all the members in the team. A few of the first team players have signed new contracts, accepting a salary hit under an agreement that the amount will be credited in the coming years.

The club need to strike off a whopping €190m from their wage bill as the consequence of the pandemic. In turn, several big players including Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic were sold during the summer to compensate for the amount. 

Meanwhile, this is not the first time Barcelona will be rewarding a player with a mouthwatering bonus, as the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta received their lot as well. Former captain, Carles Puyol, however, denied to accept any bonus whatsoever.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Josep Lago

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