Lionel Messi’s demands to renew his Barcelona deal in 2020 included signing-on bonus of £8.7MILLION
Lionel Messi’s dazzling demands to stay at Barcelona in 2020 have been revealed in a significant leak.
The veteran superstar left the Spanish giants in the summer of 2021 after 21 years at the club and went on a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain when his contract expired.
And according to revelations from El Mundo on Tuesday night, Messi’s terms to stay in cramped Barcelona included a huge £8.7m sign-up bonus and a private jet to fly his family back to Argentina over Christmas.
Lionel Messi’s dazzling demands to stay at Barcelona in 2020 have now been revealed
Messi left Barcelona for PSG in 2021, but before his departure he had requested an £8.7m sign-up bonus and a private jet to fly his family back to Argentina every Christmas.
He also negotiated a luxury executive box at Barca’s Nou Camp stadium for both his family and the family of then teammate Luis Suarez (second from right)
He also asked for a luxury executive box at Camp Nou for his family and the family of former Barça team-mate Luis Suarez, with the assurance of a three-year contract until 2023 plus an option to extend.
Other demands made in June 2020 included lowering his buyout clause from £610m to a face value of just £8,700 – almost negligible considering the money in today’s market.
In addition, after accepting a 20 per cent pay cut from his regular salary in 2020-21 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, he asked for that to be recouped with a 10 per cent increase in his net salary of £65m per year. year for the next two seasons, plus a three percent annual rate hike.
The information was obtained from emails between Jorge Messi, Lionel’s father and representative, the 35-year-old’s legal team and Barcelona chiefs, including then-President Josep Bartomeu.
According to El Mundo, Barcelona accepted all of Messi’s demands except two: refusing to lower his release clause to £8700 and making the £8.7m signing bonus conditional on the club returning to their pre-pandemic income, which is unlikely was and is given their well publicized financial issues.
As a result, the 162 cap international negotiations stalled, culminating in the infamous ‘Burofax’ being sent to the club to inform them of his wish to leave.
Spanish newspaper El Mundo had previously leaked details of Messi’s massive £492 million (€555 million) contract – the largest in sporting history – taking into account fixed salary, image rights, variables and taxes.
Lionel Messi’s last contract with Barcelona cost the cramped club a whopping £492 million
The figure was revealed by the Spanish newspaper El MundoOutlining Barcelona’s Financial Troubles
The deal guaranteed him a gross salary of £122 million per season, a £102 million ‘renewal fee’ for accepting the contract and a £69 million ‘loyalty bonus’ per year for staying at the Nou Camp.
Other variables included Messi saving an additional £1.75 million if he played 60 per cent of matches, while receiving additional payments for each Champions League knockout stage he reached, as well as for winning LaLiga and the Copa del Rey.
The leak has infuriated Messi’s camp, which said they would like to prepare a lawsuit against El Mundo, RAC1 said.
That contract reportedly included clauses requiring Barcelona to demand that Messi “integrate into Catalan society and culture” as the club made every effort to improve Messi’s command of the Catalan language.
Ex-Barca president Josep Bartomeu (right) and Messi shake hands as the 2017 contract is signed
The contract also stated that Messi “must adopt appropriate personal behavior and rhythm of life” and would never engage in doping.
Finally, it was amazingly revealed that there was an agreement in the contract that would allow Messi to become a free agent if Catalonia became independent, with Barcelona being kicked out of LaLiga to play in a Catalan league.
It was agreed in the contract that if that were the case – with Catalonia pushing for independence from Spain as early as 2017 – the six-time Ballon d’Or winner could automatically leave for free.
Uruguayan striker Suarez, now at Nacional, criticized El Mundo for leaking the details.
Uruguayan striker Suarez lashes out at the ‘bad’ people who leaked Messi’s contract details in 2021
In February 2021, he told: Onda Cero: ‘I was surprised to read Messi’s contract in the press. I don’t understand how there are people who are so angry. What Barcelona is today is thanks to Leo.’
Suarez’s comments came in the wake of his recent support for Messi, urging the Argentine ace to retire whenever he pleases and fully dictate his own future in football.
Suarez told El Transistor: ‘He is [playing] on a spectacular level he is the best in the world. Messi will retire where he wants, he can decide whether it’s in Barcelona, Argentina or wherever.”
Suarez himself was one of the victims of Barca’s struggle, having been forced out of the Nou Camp in the summer of 2020 when the Catalan giants tried desperately to cut an inflated wage bill.