LIONEL MESSI BARCELONA SAGA
Lionel Andres Messi became the highest-paid footballer in La Liga four years ago when he agreed to a new contract with his lifetime club FC Barcelona.
Under his previous contract with the La Liga giants, his annual base salary was $44.68 million.
The news that was leaked recently revealed the Barcelona captain’s contract is worth €555.2 million ($673.8m).
The new bumper contract meant that Messi is also is on the best contract ever handed to a soccer player.
The Argentine international rakes up to $168.5 million every season.
According to reports, the La Liga club is battling to contain its $1.42b debt and is on the verge of bankruptcy.
Despite being the fourth-richest club in the world with an annual turnover of €840.8 million, the club is in a financial crisis.
The Barcelona-based club is worth over $4.06 billion.
LIONEL MESSI NETWORTH
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Other than his mammoth and mouthwatering contract with his boyhood club, Messi’s source of wealth includes endorsements and investments.
As of last year’s reports, the 33-year-old net worth is believed to be in the region of £309m ($400m).
Unlike his rival Cristiano Ronaldo whose businesses have been publicized, Messi’s business interests remain unknown except a few.
In 2019, the pint-sized Argentina captain topped Forbes 100 highest-earning celebrities shortlist, as the forward’s income for the year reached $127m (£98m).
The athlete led Ronaldo by $18m and led his former teammate Neymar by $22m.
LIONEL MESSI SALARY
Messi’s new deal at the Camp Nou that runs until 2021 includes a £500,000 ($610k) weekly wage.
Under his old contract, the Barcelona skipper was pocketing around £336,000 ($410k) per week.
Antoine Griezmann is the second-highest-paid player at Barcelona with a weekly salary of £300,000.
In Premier League, Arsenal have the highest-paid player in their skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with a cool £375,000 per week.
LIONEL MESSI SPONSORSHIP
Messi’s name and fame have attracted various lucrative deals, just like Juventus forward Ronaldo.
German multinational corporation Adidas are proud designers of Messi’s boots, who rival Nike Inc., who are Ronaldo’s boots partners.
According to Spanish media outlets, the Catalan player has a lifetime agreement with Adidas, who have been with him since 2006 until the end of his footballing career.
He is also their leading brand endorser.
This is a similar scenario that transcended after Portuguese international Ronaldo penned a new deal worth $1 billion with American company Nike.
Leo Messi has put pen to paper with other big fish companies to be reckoned with in the corporate world including Pepsi, Gillette, and Turkish Airlines.
Forbes estimated his endorsements at $35m (£27m) in 2019 in total.
LIONEL MESSI CHARITY WORK
Lionel Messi owns his organisation, Leo Messi Foundation a non-profit organisation (NGO) dedicated to performing acts of solidarity and social commitment.
It seeks to give children opportunities to realise their dreams.
He has worked with Unicef from 2004 and the NGO rewarded the soccer star in 2010, appointing him as the ambassador.
In February 2019, Messi’s foundation donated £175,000 ($218,000) to Unicef projects in Kenya that allowed over 2,000 citizens access to free food and water.
Unicef also had a sponsorship deal with Barcelona, thanks to Messi’s commitment to promoting the organisation and his philanthropic gesture.
LIONEL MESSI EARLY CAREER
During the 2003/04 season, Messi debuted for five youth teams in a single campaign.
At 16 years, four months, and 23 days old, Messi made his first appearance for Barcelona senior squad against FC Porto.
His overall performances were phenomenal over time and he signed his first professional contract in February 2004 that ran until 2012 with a buyout clause of €30 million.
It was not until at 18 years when Leo Messi signed his first contract for the senior squad with an increased buyout clause of €150 million.
Messi established himself as one of the best in the club in 2006/07 campaign, scoring 17 goals in 36 games across all competitions.
In 2007, he was shortlisted for the 2007 Ballon d’Or, behind Kaká and runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo.
He has gone on to win the accolade six times, one above Ronaldo.
LIONEL MESSI FOOTBALL CLUB HONORS
Lionel Messi has ten La Liga titles, six Copa del Rey trophies, four UEFA Champions League silverware, three UEFA Super Cup and three FIFA Club World Cups under his name.
LIONEL MESSI FAMILY
Messi has been in a relationship with Antonella Roccuzzo, a fellow native of Rosario.
They have three sons: Thiago (born 2012), Mateo (born 2015) and Ciro (born 2018).
Messi and Roccuzzo got married at a luxury hotel named Hotel City Center in Rosario in June 2017.