The world’s best salary for the world’s best player: Messi signs new Barça deal

Star had clashed with club over image rights while hammering out terms of new contract

Leo Messi, next to Barcelona goalkeeper José Manuel Pinto, during training on Friday.
Leo Messi, next to Barcelona goalkeeper José Manuel Pinto, during training on Friday.Manu Fernandez (AP)

Barcelona and Leo Messi have finally come to an agreement over improvements to his contract. On Friday the club said it would increase the Argentinean player’s wages from €13 million a season to around €20 million, with the aim of making him the best-paid player in the world in line with his number-one status.

The new contract, which is due to be signed in the next few days, retains the same release clause (€250 million) and duration (until 2018) as the previous one.

The main stumbling block in hammering out the new deal has been the 26-year-old player’s image rights. Barcelona has asked to purchase a share of the rights, something that was not been to Messi’s liking. In exchange for compensation, Messi might now give up his sponsorship deal with Turkish Airlines and allow Barcelona to use his image as part of the rights shared by the two parties.

The new contract retains the same release clause – €250m – and duration –until 2018  – as the previous one

The club had considered the updating of Messi’s contract a priority after details of the contract of Brazilian forward Neymar were leaked.

This is the seventh time that Messi’s Barcelona contract has been altered. The first was in June 2005, followed by another revision in September of that year. Once established in the first team, he extended his commitment to the club to 2014 in January 2007. Just five months later, in June, he improved his deal after the arrival of coach Pep Guardiola and the departure of Brazilian star Ronaldinho. In September 2009 he renewed until 2016 and his release clause rose to €150 million. Last year the club extended his contract until 2018, with a salary of €13 million a season.

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