How much is Lionel Messi worth? Find out here as we look at how the FC Barcelona captain makes and spends his millions.
Hailed as one of football’s greatest players, Lionel Messi’s net worth has always been at an astronomical figure. Every major corporation wants the Barcelona star as the face of their marketing campaigns.
The Argentine’s on-pitch exploits say it all, with a record six Ballon d’Or awards in his career. Over 600 goals for Barcelona have come his way, including 10 La Liga titles and 16 top-scorer prizes in all competitions. So it’s easy to understand why he’s always in demand.
Aware of his growing importance, Barcelona awarded him a new contract in November 2017 until June 2021. It made him football’s biggest earner on a reported €565,000-per-week. The catch? An incredible €700m release clause.
American business magazine Forbes even named Leo as the high-paid athlete of 2019 on a cool $127m. Sitting behind him in second was Cristiano Ronaldo on $109m, with Neymar completing the top-three on $105m. Not a bad way to round off the decade, right?
Messi’s personal fortune, meanwhile, has climbed to an estimated net worth of $400m (€350m) over the years. Of course, we must point out that this figure is speculative as only the player and his representatives will know his true value.
Still, this estimate was enough to make Messi the world’s third-richest footballer in 2020.
Just like Cristiano Ronaldo, sponsorships offers have always come knocking on Lionel Messi’s door. Having him endorse one’s product or services instantly grabs worldwide attention, resulting in huge potential profits.
In 2019, Forbes claimed that Messi made $35m through endorsement deals alone. That made up 27.6% of his income for that year, with his Barcelona salary and winnings covering the remaining $92m.
The 32-year-old’s most significant partnership is with German shoemaker Adidas, which mirrors Ronaldo’s own one with Nike. His contract for Adidas, though, will reportedly only last until the end of his career. But we should point out that neither party have disclosed the full details.
Nonetheless, Messi bags over a reported $10m-per-year from the deal he signed for Adidas in February 2017.
Ronaldo, on the other hand, signed a $1bn lifetime agreement with Nike in 2016. Thus, he became only the third athlete in history to become a permanent partner after Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Messi has also featured prominently in promotional campaigns for Pepsi, Gillette, Tata Motors and Turkish Airlines.
Tax fraud case
Endorsement deals, however, nearly got Lionel Messi on the wrong of the law in July 2017. Spanish prosecutors convicted him and his father, Jorge, of tax fraud. The player apparently moved his €4.1m earnings to offshore accounts in South America between 2007 and 2009 to avoid paying tax income.
It turned into an ugly affair, with the Spanish Supreme Court deeming the pair guilty and handing Messi a 21-month prison sentence. Although the punishment was later changed to a €252,000 fine. Therefore, Leo had to pay €400 for each day he should’ve been in prison for.
The Spanish courts also agreed to switch Jorge’s 15-month sentence in favour of a €180,000 fine. In return, they got a voluntary €5m ‘corrective payment’ from Messi. Although that didn’t stop them fining the player an additional €2m and his father €1.5m.
This turn of events nearly caused Leo to leave Barcelona.
“At that time, with the government mess, I wanted to leave, not for wanting to leave Barca but wanting to leave Spain,” he told RAC1.
“I felt that I was being very mistreated and I didn’t want to stay here. I never had an official offer because everyone knew my idea to stay here.
“It was very difficult for me and my family because people don’t know much about what’s going on. The truth is that it was hard for everything that happened but it is better that my children were small and did not know.”
How does Messi spend his money
With an estimated net worth of $400m in the bank, Lionel Messi is free to splash the cash whenever he wishes. It’s probably one of the most enviable things about him, aside from his insane talents.
Again like Ronaldo, the Argentine has taken a liking to buy some luxury cars. Among his collection is a Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale, Audi R8 Spyder and a Ferrari F430 Spider. Although he debunked rumours of spending €32m on a 1957 Ferrari 335 S Spider Scaglietti in 2016.
While Messi lives in a prestigious and expensive Catalan suburb of Castelldefels called Bellamar. Properties in that area normally sell for over €4m, although prices have gone up since Leo moved in.
The footballer purchased his home in 2009 for allegedly €1.8m and spent a further €6m renovating it. The location itself is ideal as it’s just 16 miles outside of the centre of Barcelona.
Aside from that, though, there isn’t a lot more to say about how Messi spends his money. He is a pretty private person and lives a laidback lifestyle outside the spotlight.
Perhaps the biggest thing Leo has done with his money is through his own charity, ‘The Lionel Messi Foundation‘. It helps children worldwide by providing healthcare and educational facilities.