Lionel Messi Inspired Former Barcelona President To Pay Lifetime Salaries To All Of Their European Champions
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi selflessly convinced former club president Joan Laporta to award every single one of their players who won a European title a lifetime salary.
The Spanish side have a historic legacy in European club competitions and have won five Champions League titles, four Cup Winners' Cups and three Fairs Cups.
And over 290 players could be benefiting from the lifetime salary that Argentine superstar Messi spearheaded with his Champions League exploits.
Juan Carlos Heredia, who won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1979 alongside the legendary Johan Cruyff, has been one of the recipients of Barca's scheme and opened up about the lifetime salary.
"When Barcelona won the Champions League final in Rome against Manchester United with a goal from Messi, the club president declared that all those who were European champions with Barcelona were going to receive a salary for life. And he fulfilled it," the 67-year-old told The Tactical Room.
Messi, 32, has lifted four Champions League trophies to date with the Spanish side.
But winning Europe's top-tier club competition has eluded the Argentina captain since the 2014-15 season.
Messi took over the captain's armband from Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta in 2018 and promised in his first speech as skipper to bring the Champions League trophy back to the Camp Nou.
But the reigning Spanish champions suffered heartbreak last season after Liverpool produced a stunning semi-final comeback to knock them out of the Champions League.
However, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner said he didn't regret his pledge last season and once again rallied his men to 'fight for everything' this season.
"It's hard to say something after last season, but I don't regret anything," Messi told Barcelona fans in August.
"But I have no doubt that together we are going to fight again for everything.
"We won eight League titles in 11 years.
"We do not give it the value it deserves but over the years we will see how difficult it was.
"This club fights for everything and this year will be no different.
"We have renewed dreams. Visca Barca and Visca Catalunya!"
Featured Image Credit: PA