Messi and his club are looking to sue El Mundo for publishing the details of the player’s astonishing contract.
La Liga giants Barcelona and their captain Lionel Messi are ready to take legal action against Spanish paper El Mundo for leaking the details of the player’s current contract with the club. In an astonishing revelation captured in Sunday’s publication, it was claimed that the 33-year-old Argentine’s entire four year contract signed in 2017 is approximately worth $674 million (€555 million) – the biggest-ever signed by an athlete.
El Mundo’s report suggests that if all conditions are met, Lionel Messi earns about $168 million (€138 million) per season before add-ons. It also stated that the player cashed in on $139.9 million (€115.2 million) as a ‘renewal fee’ and $94.6 million (€77.9 million) as a loyalty bonus. This comes on the back of claims that Barcelona were nearing bankruptcy.
The exposé has since angered the player and his camp as the private document detailing the breakdown of his contract is governed by a confidentiality clause. According to RAC1, Messi and his entourage are looking to identify the culprit within Barcelona responsible for the leak and will take legal action accordingly. As far as guilty parties are concerned, the media outlet claims that only five people within the club could have had access to see the details of the Argentine’s contract.
Meanwhile, Barcelona have distanced themselves from having a role to play in the leak. The Catalan club has also stated that they will support Messi to probe the matter and bring those responsible to book. A statement released by the club on Sunday reads as follows:
“In view of the information published today 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.”