Report: Lionel Messi to Make a World Record $129 MILLION PER YEAR Under New Barca Contract
This past summer Argentinian soccer superstar Lionel Messi signed a new contract with FC Barcelona that will keep him in blue and red until 2021. However, the world’s top soccer clubs are notoriously secretive about their contracts, so nobody knew how much Messi would actually make. Until now.
According to a bombshell investigation by the European Investigative Collaborations, a network of major European newspapers and magazines, Messi’s latest contract guarantees him at least €106,347,115 per season through 2021.
Right now you’re probably thinking, “No that can’t be right. You mean €106,347,115 total, not per year.” But no, we mean €106,347,115 per year. That’s roughly $129,000,000, for a mind-boggling four-year total of over half a billion dollars.
But wait, there’s more! If Barca should happen to win a treble—that is, win the Champions League, the Spanish league title, and the Spanish cup in a single season—and if Messi is named the FIFA Player of the Year that same year, he’ll earn an additional $20,000,000.
So what’s the deal with this contract that shatters every record in the books? Why is Barca paying Messi so much more than even Real Madrid pays Cristiano Ronaldo?
According to Der Spiegel, which is part of the European Investigative Collaborations network, it has to do with Messi’s enormous tax debt and Barca’s unwillingness to let another team have him.
Remember, Messi was found guilty of tax evasion and sentenced to 21 months in prison in 2016, though the sentence was suspended because it was his first offense. Now the Spanish authorities are looking into other tax violations, including the possibility that Barcelona made payments to Messi’s charitable foundation as a way for him to avoid paying taxes.
By agreeing to pay Messi over $100,000,000 per year, FC Barcelona is basically assuring both Messi and the Spanish government that they’ll pay whatever back taxes he owes.
Here’s how Der Spiegel explains it:
“The club, which has for years enjoyed millions of euros worth of tax concessions from the Spanish state, has now formalized in this monster contract its willingness to compensate the state for the latest tax debts of its star player, a man who has already been convicted once of tax evasion.
“Club executives described the vast scope of the contracts in internal calculations. In one instance, they worked out that expenditures on Messi would account for 40 percent of the team’s future payroll. Another document noted: ‘The player needs to be aware of how disproportionately high his salary is relative to the rest of the team.’
“Messi’s father knew that he could ask for pretty much whatever he wanted for his wunderkind. The global football market has become so overheated in recent years that it would not be difficult to find a Chinese, Russian, Arab or American investor willing to meet the Messi family’s demands.”
In the end, Barcelona did the math, and they figured Messi and his image rights are worth half a billion dollars over the next four years.
Hat Tip – [Der Spiegel]