Lionel Messi joined FC Barcelona at the age of 13, where he lit up opponents and scored his way to a massive contract with the premiere squad, eventually earning a starting job. On Sept. 18th, Messi chalked up a new deal with the club and never wants to leave, stated the official Barcelona website. The luminary striker and celebrated Argentinean national player will be under a new contract with the club until 2016. The club has yet to disclose any official amount of money that the new contract is worth, but under his previous contract, this stud was being paid between $10 – $12 million dollars annually. Some Spanish press are projecting that Messi will earn between $15 – $18 million dollars per year with his new contract.
Buyout clauses are common in sports negotiations and contracts. Buyout clauses are used if a player or team decide to dissolve the contract and relationship at any point during contracted years. It is similar to making a premarital agreement in order to protect both parties involved. For soccer players in Europe, especially with young guns, these clauses are very important considering the amount of attention these players will receive from other clubs during their tenure under contract. The buyout allows a team to purchase a player or buyout their contract for a specific price. In Messi’s situation he had a buyout clause of $220 million dollars in his previous contract. However, turning 22 years old and just reaching his prime, the Argentinean has a new buyout clause of $367 million dollars for his next 6 years. Seems a bit pricey to pay for a player, but after seeing Real Madrid and Manchester City spend a couple hundred million dollars it may be realistic and necessary.
To put things into perspective, Messi is considered one of the best players in the entire world, if not THE best. Fellow soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo is also considered one of the world’s top performers and set a new record in terms of a buyout clause. Chairman of Real Madrid, Florentino Perez, wanted to protect their new star from any oil sheiks that had him on their mind. Ronaldo and Real Madrid agreed upon a $1,000,000,000 Euro buyout clause earlier this summer, making Ronaldo the first ever billion euro player; his previous buyout was worth $200,000,000 euro. If a team were to buy Ronaldo, they would essentially pay the salaries of the other 66 players under contract with Real Madrid. Now that is some serious dough!