Lionel Messi is one of the best soccer players in the world. He currently plays forward for the FC Barcelona club and for the Argentine national team. Messi is in Russia for the World Cup 2018.
He previously announced his plans to retire from soccer in 2016, following Argentina’s loss to Chile at the Copa America final. He has since come out of retirement and has been a staple on Argentina’s team, leading them to the World Cup. Many wonder if he will retire after the competition.
“I don’t know. It will depend how we do, how it ends. The fact we’ve lost three finals now has led to some complicated moments with the Argentine press due to the differences in seeing what it means to reach a final. It is not easy and [reaching three finals] has to be appreciated. It’s true that winning them is important, but getting there is not easy,” he told Spanish newspaper, Sport, a few days ago.
Lionel Messi Net Worth: $280 Million
Messi has earned the majority of his money playing soccer. He earns a salary as the striker and winger of the FC Barcelona and the Argentina National Team. He earns a base salary of $44.68 million per year. He also earns millions each year by way of endorsement deals.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Was the 2nd Highest Paid Soccer Player in the World in 2017
Messi may be ranked No.1 as a player by some, but he comes up second in the money conversation. According to Forbes, the venerated Barca forward earned a $42 million in 2017 on his contract with the La Liga squad. It’s only natural that his chief rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, is the very man he trails as far as salary goes. The same Forbes list of the world’s top-paid players details that Ronaldo earned $49 million playing for Real Madrid, $7 million more than Messi. Another Forbes story reveals he ended up netting an even $50 million with bonuses.
When his new contract — signed in November 2017 — becomes active, however, Messi may become the highest-paid player on the planet.
“If his entire bonus is paid this season, Messi will gain the top spot on our annual list of The World’s Highest Paid Soccer Players and round out the top three of The World’s Highest Paid Athletes. Combined with his $30 million in endorsement income, anchored by his lifetime deal with German sportswear giant Adidas and including new deal with Spanish sunglass maker Hawkers for a signature line, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner could bank over $130 million by this current campaign’s end. Among the highest paid in the world, he could be sandwiched between Floyd Mayweather who earned in excess of $200 million and his August 2017 opponent Conor McGregor who earned an estimated $105 million,” the Forbes report reads.
Barcelona confirmed that Messi’s buyout clause more than doubled from his previous contract. In order to get Messi, interested parties would have to fork over a monumental $835 million, as if the previous $357 million wasn’t already massive.
2. In 2017, He Earned Approximately $40 Million From Endorsements
Over the years as Messi has become more popular, he has inked some pretty lucrative endorsement deals. In fact, he earns approximately half of his income from endorsements.
“Messi earns an additional $40 million every year from endorsements. Between June 2017 and June 2018, Lionel grossed $111 million, of which $30 million came from endorsements,” Celebrity Net Worth reports.
Messi has inked deals with Pepsi, Konami, Audemars Piguet, Chery, AirEuropa, MasterCard, Gatorade, Lays, and Dolce & Gabbana.
He currently has his very own line of athletic shoes and cleats with Adidas. His original deal with the brand earned him a whopping $10 million. According to Sports Pro Media, his newly signed deal back in February could be earning him even more. Sportskeeda reports that Messi’s new deal with Adidas is worth $20 million per year and spans 7 years.
3. He Owns a Multi-Million Dollar Home in Bellamar
Messi lives in a multi-million dollar home in Bellamar, a suburb of Castelldefels, Barcelona. The area is home to several mansions, and the average home price is $5 million, according to Barcelona Check-In.
Messi purchased his home in 2009 for just over $2 million. He spent more than $6 million on renovations over the past few years.
“The interior of the house is decorated in a Mediterranean style with light coloured walls and wooden floors. The basic, uncomplicated décor gives the house a comfortable and modern feel. The general color scheme in the house is beige and brown, with light beige floors and dark brown or light walnut furniture,” Barcelona Check-In reports, adding that the home is complete with its own gym.
The modern abode has an incredible view of the Catalan hills and the Mediterranean coast. Outside, Messi has a kid-friendly area that consists of a playground and an area to play soccer. There’s also an in-ground swimming pool.
There are rumors that Messi built a home shaped like a soccer ball, but those rumors are not true.
4. He Was Convicted of Tax Fraud in 2017
In 2017, Messi was convicted of tax fraud, and was sentenced to 21 months behind bars, though he was never likely to serve the sentence. “Prison terms of under two years can be served under probation,” according to BBC News.
According to BBC News, Messi and his father Jorge were both found guilty of defrauding Spain of nearly $5 million between the years 2007 and 2009. They were accused and convicted “of using tax havens in Belize and Uruguay to conceal earnings from image rights.”
“Messi’s appeal against the sentence was rejected by Spain’s Supreme Court last month, but his father’s jail time was reduced because he had paid some of the taxes,” BBC News reported.
Not only did Messi and his dad have to pay back the tax money, but they were both fined. Messi was forced to pay more than $2 million and his father owed a little bit less.
5. He Started the Leo Messi Foundation
Messi has used some of his millions to give back to his community and to those less fortunate. He started the Leo Messi Foundation, which supports a variety of charities, including UNICEF. The Leo Messi Foundation has been working with UNICEF for more than 7 years. In fact, Messi was named a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador in 2010.
In May 2017, a donation from Messi’s charity helped the education system in areas in Tartus, Syria, and Damascus, by paying for prefabricated classrooms.
“More than 60 per cent of children attending these schools have been displaced from their homes due to the fighting. School provides children affected by war with a routine, structure, and a sense of normality in a situation that is far from normal. We are grateful to the generous support of the Leo Messi Foundation to help hundreds of children access education,” said UNICEF.