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Why Is Messi Still Getting Paid By FC Barcelona, His Former Club?

FC Barcelona President Laporta shed light on the club's financial commitments to Messi, stating that they are still bound to pay him till 2025.
UPDATED JAN 22, 2024
Cover Image Source: GettyImages | Matthias Hangst
Cover Image Source: GettyImages | Matthias Hangst

Lionel Messi's departure from FC Barcelona in 2021 was a major event in the football world, leaving fans heartbroken. Fast forward two years and the Argentine superstar is still receiving payments from his former club, an arrangement that will continue until at least 2025, per GOAL.

Messi's emotional farewell from FC Barcelona in 2021 came as a shock to many, as the club failed to offer him a new contract that would have complied with Financial Fair Play limits. Reports suggest that Messi's contract, which expired on June 30 of that year, was one of the highest-paid sports contracts of all time, worth a staggering €555,237,619 (US $604.2 million) over four seasons, subject to certain conditions.

Image Source: GettyImages/Eric Alonso
Image Source: Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Barcelona President Joan Laporta recently shed light on the club's financial commitments to Messi, stating that they are still bound to pay him for another two years. However, the payments are not related to a new contract but rather the deferral of the salary bill that was agreed upon with the previous board. These pending payments will continue until the year 2025. Despite the financial challenges faced by the club, Laporta emphasized that they are diligently honoring their obligations to the legendary forward.

This arrangement was made to alleviate financial constraints at the time. Despite his departure, the club remained committed to fulfilling this agreement, and as a result, they will continue paying Messi until 2025. 

Other players' salaries were also deferred by the club during the COVID-19 pandemic. Barcelona released a club statement in November 2020 confirming that the squad had pay deferrals that would save the club up to €172 million ($187.46 million).

Image Source: GettyImages/Clive Brunskill
Image Source: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Beyond his payments from Barcelona, Lionel Messi's financial situation remains highly lucrative. Despite declining an offer to join a Saudi Pro League club, Messi is still receiving payments (as much as $25 million) from Saudi Arabian authorities for commercial appearances, per The New York Times. All he has to do is share images of all-expenses-paid trips to the kingdom along with a Saudi-approved hashtag.

The Argentine forward's decision to join Inter Miami after his stint at Paris Saint-Germain has also opened a new chapter in his illustrious career. His move to Inter Miami came with a substantial contract that runs from this July 1 2023 until late December 2025 and it is reportedly worth $60 million per year which includes his salary, owning a stake in Inter Miami, and his signing bonus, per NBC Sports.

Image Source: GettyImages/Buda Mendes
Image Source: GettyImages/Buda Mendes


With his contract at Paris Saint-Germain officially expiring on June 30, 2023, Lionel Messi is now officially an Inter Miami player. As he prepares to make his debut for the Major aLeague Soccer (MLS) team, fans eagerly await his first outing in the Leagues Cup home game against Cruz Azul on July 21, 2023. The move to Inter Miami marks a significant shift for Messi, and it will be intriguing to see how he adapts to a new league and a fresh set of challenges.

As of 2023, Messi is the second highest-paid athlete in the world and has earned an estimated $1.15 billion in his career so far, per Forbes. Per Celebrity Net Worth, the 36-year-old has a net worth of $600 million. He is known to have earned around $900 million in salary to date and $400 million from endorsements.