Lionel Messi broke down during his last press conference as a Barcelona player. The Argentina legend fought back tears Sunday august 8 as he began press conference at which he confirmed he is leaving Barcelona, where he has played his entire career. Messi had been out of contract since the end of June. On august 5 Barca announced that Messi will leave the club due to “Financial and structural obstacles” The footballer claimed that he accepted 50% pay cut from his salary to sing the new contract but the club could not afford to keep him.
The club president Joan Laporta said that if they had re-signed the deal, it would have taken salaries to 110% of the club earnings. Without Messi, the salaries would be 95% of the earnings. This was still higher than the Laliga’s fair play(FFP) cut-off mark. According to FFP rules, Salaries should not exceed 75% of the earning of the club.
Laporta Said trying to keep Messi in the club would risk it for next 50 years. Latest financial reports indicate Barca’s debt amounted over $1 Billion. Six times Ballon d’Or winner, Messi has played 778 games for the Catalan club and scored 672 goals since he made his senior debut in 2013. Messi is #2 on the Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid athletes 2021 at $130 million & a net worth of $600 Million. As per leaked contract, Messi was able to earn $165 million through salaries & incentives alone.
What next for Lionel Messi?
Without a club or a contract Messi is now one of the most sought-after free agents in sports history. He’s reportedly received a formal offer from Paris-Saint-German but nothing has been finalized. He said “PSG is a possibility. I do not have anything arranged with anybody though. I had call from several clubs but nothing is confirmed. The French football club has offered an initial two-year contract thought to be worth $34.75 Million($25 million) after tax. However, the footballer said that he has not agreed to anything yet & is still in talks with different clubs interested.