Messi’s contract worth up to € 555m
MADRID (AP) – Lionel Messi’s latest contract with Barcelona is worth up to 555 million euros ($ 673 million) over four seasons, El Mundo newspaper reported on Sunday.
The Spanish daily said it had access to the document Messi signed with the Catalan club in 2017, which included fixed and variable income of up to nearly 138 million euros ($ 167 million) each season. The newspaper said it was the most expensive deal ever with an athlete in any sport.
Messi is expected to pay around half of that in taxes in Spain.
The report says the 33-year-old has already earned more than 510 million euros ($ 619 million) from the total.
Barcelona have denied any responsibility for the disclosure of the document and said they would take legal action against the newspaper.
“The club regrets its publication given that it is a private document governed by the principle of confidentiality between the parties,” he said in a 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.”
The club expressed its “absolute support for Lionel Messi, especially in the face of any attempt to discredit his image, and to damage his relationship with the entity where he worked to become the best player in the world and in football history. “.
Messi, who did not immediately comment publicly on the report, later scored a goal on Sunday in the team’s 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish league. The result puts the Catalan club in second place for the first time this season, although their gap to leaders Atlético Madrid is 10 points.
“We have to try to find out how it happened to the press,” Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said. “If someone from the club has disclosed this, that person cannot have a future in this club.”
The leak comes as Barcelona try to deal with massive debt created primarily as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The club has been run by a board of directors since President Josep Bartomeu resigned in October amid a motion of no confidence. New presidential elections are scheduled for March 7.
“I don’t understand how you can associate Messi with the Barcelona problems,” Koeman said. “He has shown his quality as a player for many years and has helped make this club great. “
The newspaper also detailed how Messi has rewarded the club over the years, helping them win over 30 titles.
Messi has been with Barcelona for almost two decades but asked to leave at the end of last season after saying he was not happy with the direction the club was taking. His request was refused but he will be able to leave for free at the end of this season.
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