Lionel Messi contract: El Mundo leaks details, Barca to take action
In a massive revelation over the weekend, Spanish newspaper El Mundo published a detailed bifurcation of Lionel Messi's contract with Barcelona, claiming that figures that the Argentine earns are the biggest in sports history.
In a 30-page report published by the newspaper, it is said that Messi' contract with Barca would see him receiving a mammoth sum of €555,237,619 (US$673,919,105, £491,732,285.73) over four seasons if certain conditions are met. "The Argentine Lionel Messi has a contract with FC Barcelona that amounts to €555,237,619 gross, to be paid in four seasons until its expiration next June 30," read a statement.
"The figure is the sum of a fixed salary, image rights, a series of multi-million-euro bonuses unprecedented to date, daily allowances and a list of variables depending on various objectives."
Apart from his usual earnings, Messi's four-year contract, which he signed in November 2017, included a signing-on bonus of €115,225,000 (£102,046,134.28) and a loyalty bonus of €77,929,955 [£69,016,712.10]. A breakdown in Messi's contract details reveals he earns €138,000,000 [£122,216,242.40] per season.
Messi's Barca contract runs out in five months, which means he has already racked €511,540,545. A deal as big as this is arguably one of the reasons why Barcelona are in debt. On Monday, the La Liga side released a financial report for the 2019/2020 season, which stated that the club is in debt of €1.173 billion in short term. It is also said that the Catalan club postponed the payments of player wages to February which was initially due in December 2020.
Lionel Messi was about to engage in a legal battle with his childhood club last summer when he handed in a transfer request. He eventually decided to stay put, meaning that he will be a free agent next summer. Talks of Messi's contract renewal has hit the rock bottom and there are high chances that the club's record goalscorer will leave as a free agent.
Barcelona to sue El Mundo
Meanwhile, in a recent development, Barcelona have released a statement saying that they will take legal action against El Mundo for publishing the details. "In the view of the information published today in the newspaper El Mundo, in relation to the professional contract signed between FC Barcelona and the player Lionel Messi, the club regrets its publication given that it is a private document governed by the principle of confidentiality between the parties," read the statement.
"FC Barcelona categorically denies 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."
Just in: 555 million Euros to rupees translates to 49,11,15,84,721.20 INR.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Pau Barrena