Profile: Lionel Messi - Who can afford the greatest of all time?

8 February 2021

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Photo: PA Images Lionel Messi celebrating one of the most famous wins as a Barcelona-player when Barca in March 2017 won 6-1 at home against Paris Saint Germain after a 4-0 defeat in the first Champions League leg.

Leaked details of Lionel Messi’s contract revealed him to be the highest paid sportsman of all time, with € half billion 4-year contract.

Messi has earned €2.95 million per game on 2017 deal, which expires in June.

Man who brought Pele to New York Cosmos says not even Messi could replicate Brazilian’s commercial impact.

Sports salaries expert: “It's certainly close to impossible to make a valid case that he could pay back those kind of sums if hired by another club.”

Off The Pitch try to investigate if there is an economic case for the man with a nine figure pay cheque?

James Corbett, Senior Correspondent corbett@offthepitch.com

Even in football’s era of excess, when Lionel Messi’s four year contract was splashed all over the front page of the Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, last week the numbers seemed to belong to a different stratosphere.

€555,237,619 – the total amount Barcelona agreed to pay the Argentine in 2017, if win bonuses and image rights were included.

€511,540,545 earned so far or €127 million per year.

€2.95 million per game.

€3.57 million for each of his 143 Barcelona goals since 2017.

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