The Argentine talisman (Lionel Messi) made his fortune with the Blaugrana, but has now committed to PSG for the next two years of his career.
Lionel Messi became the highest-paid player in La Liga in November 2017 after signing a new contract extension with Barcelona that will keep him at Camp Nou until 2021.
The Argentina international is one of the most recognizable faces and highest-earning players in the game, and he has agreed to a two-year contract with Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain.
But how much is Lionel Messi really worth? While an exact figure is difficult to obtain, we can glean a lot of information from what has been reported and compare his earnings to those of his rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
As of 2021, Messi’s net worth is estimated to be around £309 million ($400 million). These figures, however, are speculative, especially given that his business interests are not widely publicized.
Messi was ranked first among athletes on Forbes’ list of the 100 highest-earning athletes of 2019, with his earnings for the year totaling $127 million (£98 million), and fourth overall, making him the highest-paid footballer and athlete in the world.
His ranking fell to third in Forbes’ 2020 list, trailing Ronaldo and tennis star Roger Federer, in a year that saw many industries suffer as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Ronaldo, on the other hand, was back on Forbes’ 2021 list, with total earnings of $120 million.
Conor McGregor, the former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight champion, topped the list with $180 million in earnings.
After signing a contract with PSG, Lionel Messi is expected to earn between €30 million and €35 million (£25 million-30 million/$35 million-$41 million) per season, plus team and individual bonuses.
His previous contract at Barcelona was reportedly worth a net £500,000 ($610k/€565k) per week, and prior to that, Messi was estimated to be earning around £336,000 ($410k/€397k) per week.
Messi’s many sponsorship deals, like Ronaldo’s, are too numerous to list in their entirety, but the most significant is with the makers of his boots. Off the field, their rivalry between Nike (Ronaldo) and Adidas (Messi) continues.
A few months after Ronaldo signed a “long-term” contract with Nike in 2016, rumored to be similar to basketball star LeBron James’ lifetime deal – and potentially worth $1 billion – Messi did the same with Adidas. The specific terms were not disclosed, but reports in Spain indicate that it will last at least until the end of his playing career.
Lionel Messi has also appeared in high-profile commercials for Pepsi, Gillette, and Turkish Airlines. Forbes valued his endorsements for that year at $35 million (£27 million) as part of their 2019 celebrity rich list. It has remained consistent, with the 2021 list stating that his off-field earnings totaled $33 million.
Brands such as Lays, SikSilk, Leafty, Jacob & Co., and Gatorade have recently become sponsors.
Of course, Messi’s image as a pure footballer who is uninterested in the lavish lifestyle available to him off the field contributes to his appeal. His apparent lack of desire to diversify into other ventures and build a personal brand has, in some ways, become a brand in and of itself, making him appealing to sponsors.
While Messi is not known for pushing underwear, shoes, and fragrance lines like Ronaldo, he has invested in real estate. In Rosario, Argentina, for example, he has invested in the Azahares del Parana project (a set of gated communities outside of the city) as well as an apartment building in the city center.
With his playing career coming to an end, Messi has expanded his interests into the lifestyle and fashion industries, with The Messi Store selling clothing.
Messi, like many other footballers, has dabbled in the investment worlds of cryptocurrency and NFTs, collaborating with Ethernity, a company that also works with Pele and Luka Modric, among others.
There’s almost certainly a lot more to it, but as is often the case with Messi, it’s kept pretty private.
Messi’s charity work, like his business interests, is extensive, but he prefers to channel it through trusted sources and ventures.
When he married long-term partner Antonella Roccuzzo, he asked for donations to his own foundation, the Leo Messi Foundation, instead of wedding gifts.
Messi’s initiatives generally support vulnerable children and their healthcare, and he was appointed an ambassador for Unicef in 2010 after working with them since 2004.
Lionel Messi has extremely popular Facebook and Instagram pages, but he is not on Twitter, except for a ‘Team Messi’ account created by Adidas sponsors.
However, when it comes to social media presence, he falls short of Ronaldo. With 105 million likes, Messi has the second-most popular Facebook page among athletes of any sport. Interestingly, he surpassed Dwayne Johnson to become the second most-followed male celebrity on Instagram, with 304 million followers – after Ronaldo.
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