August 2, 2021

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The Ideal Sport

Lionel Messi-Barcelona contract leak sparks promise of ‘appropriate legal action’ toward Spanish newspaper

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Barcelona have publicly announced legal action against El Mundo and denied their involvement after the bombshell details of Lionel Messi’s $674 million contract were leaked.

The Argentina international earns around $168.5 million per season with additional benefits since he signed his 2017 extension, and those details are now public knowledge thanks to the report titled “Messi’s pharaonic contract that has ruined Barcelona.”

In an official statement, Barca did not deny the accuracy of the deal’s details and instead confirmed they will sue El Mundo before distancing themselves from claims that they wanted to discredit Messi at a time when the club’s mega losses are headline news and fans are questioning the amount.

“In view of the information published today in the newspaper El Mundo in relation to the professional contract signed between FC Barcelona and the player Lionel Messi,” read the communique. “The club regrets its publication given that it is a private document governed by the principle of confidentiality between the parties.

“Barcelona categorically denies any responsibility for the publication of this document and will take appropriate legal action against the newspaper El Mundo for any damage that may be caused as a result of this publication.

“Barcelona expresses its absolute support for Lionel Messi, especially in the face of any attempt to discredit his image, and to damage his relationship with the entity where he has worked to become the best player in the world and in football history.”

This follows manager Ronald Koeman’s statements about the leak of the contract following Barcelona’s win on Sunday when he stated “Whoever published this had bad intentions and wanted to cause Barca damage. But we have to be united and focused, we have to forget about whatever has been published.” He continued, “If this was someone from the club they cannot have a future here.”

Messi continues to be linked with a move away from Camp Nou at the end of this season and the 33-year-old has seen presidential elections delayed because of the COVID-19 situation in Catalonia as the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain patiently wait for an opportunity.

On top of the $674 million total, El Mundo also detailed an approximate $140 million contract renewal fee and $94.6 million loyalty bonus for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.