Lionel Messi commits to Barcelona until 2021 in deal that includes a €300 million termination clause
Lionel Messi has agreed to stay in Barcelona until 2021, in an agreement that commits almost the star striker to play the rest of his first career plan in the Spanish team.
The mega star who came to Barcelona as a teenager 17 years ago will remain in the club until he is 34 under the new contract, announced the Catalan club Wednesday, ending months of speculation about the future five-time winner of the Golden Ball.
“The deal will be signed in the coming weeks when Messi returned to the team for spring training,” the club said in a statement, the young 30-year-old enjoyed his honeymoon a couple of days after his boyfriend’s boyfriend’s wedding in Argentina.
Messi has hinted in the past that back in the future to Argentina to play in Newell’s Boys Newell’s first club in his hometown of Rosario, where he married last week. But he also said his priority is to win more honors with Barça, a club he has called home for 13 years.
They did not release the financial details of the new contact Messi, but sports daily Marca of Spain said on Tuesday that the agreement includes a termination clause of 300 million euros.
According to its current contract, which will take place in June 2018, Messi earns around 20 million euros per year of salary, according to Spanish media, and does not include millions of euros in premium advertising revenue and related performance.
Messi arrived in Barcelona in 2000, when he was only 13 years old at the youth training center.
“He made his debut in the first team in just 16 in a friendly against FC Porto, before making his debut the following season against Espanyol in 17,” the club said in a statement.
“Shortly after, he scored his first goal with a skillful high ball against Albacete at the Nou Camp.”
The announcement of the deal is likely to reassure the fans and partners of FC Barcelona, which has had a disappointing season by the club’s own high standards.
The club was eliminated from the quarter-finals of the Champions League with Juventus, and was second behind its rivals Real Madrid in the League, but Barça won the Copa del Rey.
The contract extension strengthens the feared Messi “MSN” triumph, which also includes Brazil’s Neymar and Luis Suarez.
The two have renewed their contracts until 2021.
With 507 goals in 583 official matches, Messi is the top scorer and is widely regarded as the best player in the world with Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid rival.
“He’s the best player I’ve ever seen on the ground,” said Barcelona coach Messi’s Ernesto Valverde.
Now 30, Messi could have been tempted by other horizons – they were courted by clubs like PSG and Manchester City – especially because he was convicted last year of tax fraud in Spain.
But he lived in Catalonia from the early years of his adolescence and now lives in Barcelona with his wife Antonella Roccuzzo his son Thiago, four, and Mateo, one of them born in Spain.
And Messi himself said in May that his goal as a footballer was “trying to win so many titles” with Barcelona.