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A copy of the 33-year-old's enormous contract at the Catalan club has been obtained by Spanish publication El Mundo, who claim the six-time Ballon d'Or winner earns a maximum of €555,237,619 [£491,732,285.73] over four seasons if a series of conditions are met.
On top of that, Messi's four-year deal at the Camp Nou included a signing-on bonus of €115,225,000 [£102,046,134.28] for accepting the initial renewal, and a massive loyalty bonus of €77,929,955 [£69,016,712.10].
That means with just five months left on the deal agreed between club and player in November 2017, the player has already earned €511,540,545 [£453,033,066.98] - although he would have had to pay around half of that amount in taxes.
If you breakdown those numbers, the Argentine forward rakes in a reported €138,000,000 [£122,216,242.40] per season and, if those numbers are indeed correct, it would confirm Messi is in possession of the biggest deal in sports history.
We told you it was a serious amount of cash.
El Mundo: Messi's €555,237,619 biggest contract in sporting history signed in 2017 that is ruining Barca
€138m per season fixed + variables
2 premiums of €115,225,000 for accepting a renewal in 2017 + €77,929,955 as a loyalty bonus
Messi's +€555m is ½ of the club's debt pic.twitter.com/vdFnOa0StL
- M•A•J (@Ultra_Suristic) January 30, 2021
Messi's contract leak at the Camp Nou has certainly got people talking on social media.
Lionel Messi's contract is worth €555m... which includes an annual salary of €138m with a €78m loyalty bonus. It's no wonder Barcelona are in such big debt and are on the verge of bankruptcy.
- TC. (@totalcristiano) January 31, 2021
Over €550m earned since 2017 from just his contract. Leo Messi is an actual king man. Running his club into the ground and setting his family up for the next 1000 years.
- Xav Salazar (@XavsFutbol) January 30, 2021
I think there is a reason why Messi's contract details have been leaked to a newspaper, especially now that it is running out soon. And those are very discrete details which usually aren't made public if you approach agents.
There has to be a reason behind it - good or bad.
- Kaustubh Pandey (@Kaus_Pandey17) January 31, 2021
Messi's big-money contract, revealed by El Mundo from a 30-page document, is set to expire on June 30th this year.
And it looks increasingly likely that the forward will depart Barcelona after months of discontent. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner was involved in a public transfer saga with the Catalan giants last summer and nearly left the club after 20 years of service.
He opted to stay to avoid a legal battle with his employers of two decades but in a tell-all interview with La Sexta in December, Messi revealed numerous lawyers informed him he'd have won any form of court case.
"Leaving for free last summer? I knew that if we went to court, we would have won. Not just one lawyer told me that, many did. But I didn't want to leave in that way.
"I will not negotiate with other clubs. I will wait for the season to end and in June I will decide."
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