Barcelona Preparing Mammoth Contract Offer To Lionel Messi
Barcelona are set to make Lionel Messi a new contract offer that would see him earn a whopping €50 million per season.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner's current deal, which expires in 2021, contains a clause which enables him to walk away from the club on June 30 of every season after turning 32 - a stipulation that both Barcelona legends Carles Puyol and Andres Iniesta had access to.
But Messi has regularly spoke about ending his career with his beloved Barca and if the report from El Desmarque is correct, Messi will be the world's highest-paid player by a long way if he accepts the proposed two-year deal.
Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal, who was involved in a recent mini-feud with Messi, talked about the difficulty in getting his former teammate to sign on the dotted line.
As per AS, he said: "The question is for him, hopefully he continues. Leo said that Barca is everything for him, that he wants to stay here, from there, there will be conditions.
"We are talking about the best player in the world and having a renewal with players of this kind is never easy."
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Messi started out playing for boyhood club Newell's Old Boys and spent six years in their youth setup before joining Barcelona in 2001.
Aged 13, Messi arrived at Barca in September 2000 and blew people away with what he could do with the ball at his feet.
But though he was promised a deal when he and his family headed back home, the decision on whether or not the Blaugrana would sign the Rosario youngster didn't come until December when several Barcelona officials and those with ties to the club had lunch.
Barcelona's all-time record scorer has gone on to net an outrageous 627 goals in 718 appearances for the club, including 24 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions this term.
His first contract was actually signed on a paper napkin in what is now one of the most important documents in the history of football.