July 29, 2021

Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona despite reduced salary

2 min read

Lionel Messi and Barcelona have reached a verbal agreement for a new five-year deal extension of his already expired contract, with a significant wage reduction under terms of the new deal. Earlier this month, the Argentina talisman officially became a free agent after his contract with Barcelona expired at the end of June. Follow for more online sports betting and sports updates.

Messi, who reportedly earned 138 million euros per season, was linked to Paris Saint-Germain but obviously did not reach a final negotiation at the French capital. Last year, Messi expressed his intention of leaving Camp Nou but was blocked by La Liga president Javier Tebas and then Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu. Bartomeu went on to resign in October and was replaced by Joan Laporta. 

Earlier this week, Laporta reiterated the club’s confidence that Lionel Messi will ink a new deal at Camp Nou. The Barcelona talisman, who is fresh from winning his first international trophy as Argentina clinched the 2021 Copa America, is believed to be the best-paid athlete in the world, with a salary of nearly £500m over four years. He arrived at Barcelona at age 13, when he and his family came to Spain. 

However, La Liga president Javier Tebas has warned Barca they will not be allowed to register Messi’s new deal if they are unable to reduce spending to comply with the league’s Financial Fair Play rules. With that, to get Messi to commit to terms, he has to agree with a “significant pay cut”. Barca’s league campaign will kick off on August 15 against Real Sociedad at Camp Nou.

Last season, Messi scored 30 goals and helped the team win the Copa del Rey title despite staying against his wishes. He has won 35 trophies in 17 seasons with Barcelona and helped the club win the Champions League four times, the Spanish league 10 times, the Copa del Rey seven times and the Spanish Super Cup eight times. While with the club, he earned himself a record six Ballon d’Or awards.

He is currently the team’s all-time leading scorer with 672 goals in 778 appearances, and the top scorer in the Spanish league with 474 goals in 520 matches. He also is the player with most matches with the club. His 26 goals against Real Madrid are a record for the ‘clasico’ matches against Barcelona’s fiercest rival. An official announcement about the signing is expected in the coming days.

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