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Lionel Messi: Powerful player on and off the pitch

The magician hailing from Argentina not only knows how to feature his name in the headlines by doing wonders in the pitch but also off the pitch. Often venerated as one of the best footballers of all time, Lionel Messi is definitely one of the best in business, which is literally applicable for him on both sides of the pitch. Recently named as the highest-earning football player of the year, we will have a thorough look at his finances, which will cover his brand and endorsement deals.

One of the best-paid players in the world

With an estimated net worth of $400 million, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is paid heftily by FC Barcelona. In the middle of a long melodrama regarding his future at Barcelona in the last season, El Mundo leaked a report that showed the original contract between Messi and Barcelona, which turned out to be astronomical in figures.

According to the leaked report, Messi’s four-year contract earned him €555 million (€138 million per season), which was far more than previously thought, compared to Cristiano Ronaldo’s €30 million a season, making him straight the highest-earning Athlete in the World. The earnings were made through his salary, endorsement rights, and other marketing-related bonuses. 

Increase in age is not hampering the brand of Messi

Lionel Messi also faced a considerable dip in his market value over the years. The left-footer reached as high as €180 million in 2018 before declining slowly. After a slight but big downfall in his market value in 2019, it fell even low in the following year; much of which could be attributed to the pandemic. However, this is the first time since his growth that his market value fell below the €100 million mark with not standing at €80 million.

Whatever his market value might be, and for that matter even Cristiano Ronaldo’s, they still are the greatest of the sport and are coveted by many clubs as well as brands. In the recent list of highest-paid athletes of the year, the duo still managed to feature in the top 3, with Messi earning $120 million. From the total amount, he has earned $97 million from his salary while the rest $33 million from his endorsements.

Players of such stature are always beneficial for brands as their image brings value to the companies. Although Messi’s brand value, according to Forbes, finds him ninth in the list ($13.5m) with likes of Virat Kohli ($14.5m) and of course CR7 ($21.5m) above him, he is still sought after by a number of big brands. His majority of off-field sources of income come from the endorsements and sponsors he has made agreements with. Much like Ronaldo, his sponsorship deals are too numerous to list in their entirety with the most significant partnership with the German sportswear brand Adidas. The deal, which he signed for a lifetime, is reported to fetch him nearly €10m a year. Besides the Adidas deal, he is handsomely paid off by Pepsi, Gatorade, Budweiser, Lay’s, Mastercard, and Huawei among many others.

The Argentine also owns a number of business ventures that add to his off-field earnings. He has his own clothing line, named after himself – The Messi Store – partnering up with Ginny Hilfiger, Tommy Hilfiger’s sister. In 2017, he also became a hotelier after he purchased the Hotel MiM Sitges for nearly $30 million. The 4-star hotel boasts a rooftop restaurant, bar, and pool area with 77 rooms priced at around $170-per-night.

La Liga’s all-time goal scorer Lionel Messi will be soon deciding his future at Barcelona since his contract expires at the end of June. Now that he’ll be able to move on without a price tag, he will have a number of suitors from the biggest names in Europe’s top five leagues. Barcelona’s newly elected president Joan Laporta will strive to keep their legendary match-winner under whatever conditions, who recently placed an offer in front of the number 10 for contract renewal. Messi will be looking to get one last big contract of his career whether it is at Barcelona or other European club, time will only tell.

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