ESPN revealed Messi will still receive a big loyalty bonus whether or not he decides to leave Barca at the end of this season.
Messi has not yet agreed to extend his contract with Barca, which will end at the end of this season. Conflict with the Barca leadership could cause the Argentine striker to leave after 20 years of sticking.
But despite the decision to break up with Barca, Messi still receives a great bonus for loyalty over the years. The source of ESPN revealed that Messi’s contract with Barca in 2017 had a provision for the club to pay bonuses for player loyalty.
The gods of Barca in the past such as Xavi or Iniesta also received the same bonus when parting with the team. This is a gift that Barca gives to the players who have dedicated their career to the club.
But Messi’s case is more special because the prize money is unprecedented. The source of ESPN said that Barca will reward Messi about 66 million euros. Messi received half of the prize money in February this year and the other half will be paid out at the end of the contract.
Before that, Xavi was only awarded 21 million euros for loyalty to Barca, Iniesta 18 million, while Carles Puyol even refused Barca’s gifts. The former Spanish player thinks that Barca helped him become a good player, so it is obvious that he is loyal to the club.
In the current situation, having to pay a big bonus to Messi makes Barca face a lot of financial difficulties. They already owe about 480 million euros and are expected to lose about 300 million euros this season due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.
To deal with this situation, Barca is asking the players to reduce their salaries by 30% (about 190 million euros) and sell 50% of the shares of the Barca Corporate project (about 200 million euros).