It took a lot longer than it should have, but Barcelona and Lionel Messi have put pen to paper on a new contract that will once again make Messi the highest paid player in the world.
Messi’s current deal, which ends in June 2018, pays him €13m a year (net after taxes) and contains a €250m buyout clause. Interestingly the length of the contract stays the same, as does the release clause, but the four time World Player Of The Year has received a bumper pay raise that will pay him a reported €20 million net a season.
A statement on the Barcelona website simply said:
“FC Barcelona has reached an agreement to adjust the terms in the contract binding Leo Messi to the club as a professional first team player. The revised and updated contract will be signed over the next few days”.
Messi and his father have had a fractured relationship with Barca over the last year or so as former club president Sandro Rosell invested so much time and money in signing Neymar. That the release clause wasn’t increased is really interested because Barca need to rebuild their team, and are spending around €500m upgrading the Camp Nou. I am not sure that if an offer anywhere near his €250m release clause that Barca would turn it down.
Which is crazy when you consider that Messi is still only 26, and should be just about hitting his prime. Considering that since he made his debut in 2004/05, Messi has won 21 major titles: 6 Ligas, 3 Champions Leagues, 2 Spanish Cups, 2 Clubs World Cups, 2 European Supercups and 6 Spanish Supercups. And on an individual level he has won four Ballons d’Or, and three Golden Boots and has been top scorer in La Liga three times.