Barcelona deal to overtake Cristiano Ronaldo as world’s highest-paid player
- Messi now paid more than Cristiano Ronaldo (£15m a year)
- Premier League’s highest earner is Wayne Rooney (£15.6m a year)
- It’s Messi’s seventh new deal in 11 years
- Messi still has £250m buyout clause
- But he will share his image rights revenue with the club
- Forward is preparing for Barca’s title showdown with Atletico Madrid
- Messi’s father Jorge told Barcelona’s new manager will be Luis Enrique
Lionel Messi has agreed a new contract at Barcelona with the Argentina superstar set to become the world’s highest-paid player on £16.3million a year.
The player’s father Jorge met club officials Javier Faus and Antoni Rossich last week and closed what is the seventh new deal in 11 years for the four-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Messi will be 27 in June and the new deal is not expected to extend his existing contract length taking him to 2018.
Boost: Messi agreeing a new deal is the news the Barcelona fans had been waiting for
But his earnings have been boosted to put him ahead of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who earns £15m before bonuses.
Wayne Rooney, the highest-paid player in England, is on £15.6m a year (£300,000 a week).
Messi’s previous deals have been structured so that basic pay before bonuses is re-set each year of the deal according to bonuses earned the previous season.
In effect Messi will earn £16.3m next season but if he wins the Champions League the appropriate bonus will be added and the sum total will become his new basic pay level the following season.
Messi’s £250m buy-out clause will remain the same leaving the door open for Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain to make a bid, though the rigours of Financial Fair Play surely rule out such a move for either club.
Warming up: Messi and his Barcelona team-mates trained on Friday ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash
A statement issued by the Catalans on Friday read: ‘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.’
Barca had wanted a grand unveiling of Messi’s new deal but time ran out on them as preparations for Saturday’s La Liga decider against Atletico Madrid took over.
The player is understood to have put back his return to Argentina ahead of World Cup preparations so he can sign the new deal at the start of next week.
Most crucially from the club’s point of view, Messi’s new deal means Barca will now be better placed to tap in to the huge stream of commercial revenue he generates as for the first time since signing his initial deal in 2005 the player will not keep 100 per cent of his image rights – they will now be shared with the club.
Jorge Messi finally agreed to the revision in last week’s crunch meeting. In that meeting he was also told that the club’s new manager for next season will be Luis Enrique.
New signings were not discussed although it is no secret that the Barca forward is close pals with Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and would love him to join him at the Nou Camp.
A bid for Aguero would only be possible if Barcelona successfully off-loaded forwards Alexis Sanchez and Pedro.
The club are also keen to move on Alex Song and Javier Mascherano as they look to beat Bayern Munich to the signing of Chelsea’s Brazil defender David Luiz.
Source : Daily Mail