Here’s what you need to know about how much Lionel Messi’s annual salary is at Barcelona, which is now the most lucrative contract in sports history
Lionel Messi is constantly named as one of the world’s greatest footballers – potentially even the best that the sport has ever seen.
But how much does the Barcelona talisman earn in a year? Goal takes a look.
How much does Messi earn at Barcelona?
According to a leaked report made by Spanish publication El Mundo, Messi’s four-year contract with Barcelona is worth €555 million (£491m/$674m).
His earnings amount to €138m (£112m/$167m) a season, based on the deal he signed with the Catalan team when he extended his contract in 2017.
The report claims that Messi’s current earnings make him the highest-earning athlete in the history of sport.
Messi has already earned €510m (£452m/$619m) of his salary, with an additional €45m (£40m/$55m) windfall expected until the end of his contract in summer 2021.
Messi’s earnings are made through his salary, his marketing rights as well as other endorsement-related bonuses.
In comparison, Cristiano Ronaldo earns a yearly salary of €30m ($34m/£26m) at Juventus as of May 2020.
El Mundo’s findings come at a time when Barcelona have been struggling with their €1.2 billion (£1.1b/$1.5b) debt.
Barcelona have confirmed that they plan to sue El Mundo for the leak for revealing the details of Messi’s contract without their permission.
“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 statement on their official website reads.
“FC Barcelona expresses 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 has worked to become the best player in the world and in football history.”
The legendary attacker has been expected to depart Barcelona at the end of this season after being denied a transfer last summer following his decision to activate the release clause in his contract.
In an exclusive interview with Goal, Messi conceded that he was committed to spending the 2020-21 season at Camp Nou out of his loyalty to Barcelona fans.
The club have reportedly found difficulties in finding the means to pay for his lucrative contract.