Spanish newspaper El Mundo has published the jaw-dropping details of a leak which indicates Lionel Messi retains history’s most expensive sports contract with Barcelona FC. Valued at a staggering €555 million (AU$881.89 million) across a four-season period, this comfortably places the Argentinian star forward above former titleholder, NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes II of the Kansa City Chiefs, by a considerable AU$208 million (give or take).
Due to the sheer magnitude of this reveal – and without either Messi nor Barcelona’s consent – both parties have since confirmed they will be taking legal action against El Mundo. The football club has issued the following statement:
In view of the information published today in the newspaper El Mundo, in relation to the professional contract signed between FC Barcelona and the player Lionel Messi, the club regrets its publication given that it is a private document governed by the principle of confidentiality between the parties.
FC Barcelona categorically denies any responsibility for the publication of this document and will take appropriate legal action against the newspaper El Mundo for any damage that may be caused as a result of this publication.
FC Barcelona expresses its absolute support for Lionel Messi, especially in the face of any attempt to discredit his image and to damage his relationship with the entity where he has worked to become the best player in the world and in football history.
This information comes to light at probably the worst possible time as Barcelona FC grapples with debt incurred by COVID-19 in conjunction with earlier claims by El Mundo it was “on the verge of bankruptcy”- once again proving there is such a thing as bad publicity.
Lionel Messi’s contract expires after this current season. According to reports from last year, after spending his entire career with Barcelona, the 33-year-old talent is in no rush to return, even having threatened to unceremoniously walk out.