Mind-Blowing Former Barcelona Contract
However, Lionel continued to get an annual base income of $110 million even after those upfront payments!
Lionel yearned to be at Barcelona more than anything. To stay with the team, he even volunteered to take a wage cut of 50%. Unfortunately, Barcelona and Lionel had little control over the outcome.
Barcelona has been in financial trouble recently, with the team’s debt reportedly exceeding $1.3 billion. The organization reportedly lost $120 million last year alone as COVID killed ticket sales and television broadcast revenue.
Taking His Talents To Paris
We are learning a little more about his contract today. It’s being reported that Lionel has signed a two-year contract with PSG that will pay $75 million per year.
So if we’re judging solely on base salary, Lionel is no longer the highest-paid soccer player in the world. That distinction belongs to Neymar, his new teammate at PSG, who earns $76 million annually.
Highest Paid Athlete in the World
However, Lionel is also entitled to a share of jersey sales and performance bonuses under the terms of his deal with PSG. These sweeteners will likely bring Lionel’s annual PSG income to well over $90-$100 million.
Thanks largely to Lionel, Barcelona consistently sold more jerseys than any other sports team on the planet. Barcelona reportedly sold two million Lionel Messi jerseys annually. According to reports, the club received almost $50 million in annual revenue as a result. A reasonable assumption would be that PSG will produce AT LEAST that much annually. And it probably wouldn’t be crazy to assume Lionel will be receiving 10-20% of this revenue, which would amount to an additional $5-10 million in annual earnings.
Then there are recommendations.
Every year, Lionel Messi receives at least $40 million in sponsorship payments. His annual earnings will therefore exceed $130 million when you add an additional $40 million and a modest $90 million from PSG. With LeBron James coming in third with $100 million and Cristiano Ronaldo coming in second with $120 million, Lionel Messi should be able to keep his title as the highest-paid athlete in the world.
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