Lionel Messi's Record-Breaking Barcelona Contract Leaked

    • Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes does not in fact own the largest contract in sports history at $503 million.
    • Lionel Messi’s contract with FC Barcelona is reportedly worth a maximum of about $674 million over four years.

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Patrick Mahomes’ $503 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs is not, in fact, the largest contract in sports history. The mantle belongs to a different football superstar. 

Lionel Messi’s contract with FC Barcelona is worth a maximum of about $674 million over four years. The contract includes an annual salary of about $167 million, a “renewal fee” of about $139 million, and a “loyalty bonus” of about $93 million, according to documents leaked to Spanish paper El Mundo.

The 33-year-old star, who has just six months remaining on his contract, reportedly already secured about $619 million of his current deal. European soccer clubs aren’t subject to the same salary caps as American sports teams, so contract numbers often go unreported.

Mahomes’ then-record-breaking 2020 deal took the top spot from these previous monster contracts:

  • Mike Trout — 12 years, $426.5 million with the Los Angeles Angels
  • Canelo Alvarez — 5 years, $365 million with DAZN (exited in November)
  • Mookie Betts — 12 years, $365 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Bryce Harper — 13 years, $330 million with the Philadelphia Phillies

The Messi news comes shortly after another report alleged that Barcelona has accrued about $1.42 billion in debt. In October, the club said it had lost about $117 million as a result of the pandemic.