Free Agent Lionel Messi Takes Pay Cut, Stays with Barca

    • Messi has reached an agreement with Barcelona for a new, five-year deal.
    • His previous four-year deal was worth a reported $674 million.

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The world’s second-highest-paid athlete is taking a major pay cut.

Lionel Messi has reportedly reached an agreement with Barcelona on a new, five-year contract following the expiration of his previous four-year, $674 million deal. 

While the exact amount of Messi’s new contract is not yet known, Goal reports that Messi agreed to halve his yearly earnings.

Messi became a free agent on the first of the month after expressing a desire to leave Barcelona last summer due to his fractious relationship with then-president Josep Maria Baromeu. Joan Laporta, president of the team when Messi started his career, returned, giving the superstar a reason to stay.

La Liga president Javier Tebas said the team could not legally re-sign the club’s all-time leading scorer under the same terms after exceeding the limit this year.

  • Due to the pandemic, Barca’s salary cap dropped to $454 million compared to the $796 million limit it had in 2019.
  • The team is already $1.5 billion in debt.

Messi is worth $400 million. He signed a lifetime deal with adidas in 2017 and launched his own clothing line and retail outlet in 2019.

The new contract is expected to be formally announced in the coming weeks.