Last week, Lionel Messi became Paris Saint-Germain’s highest-earning player after signing a two-year contract that promised a $40 million annual salary, plus bonuses.
The newly-signed PSG forward, who will most likely be the team’s new talisman, received a “welcome package,” which is estimated to be worth $35 million. According to PSG, this signing-on fee came with an undisclosed amount from the club’s $PSG cryptocurrency fan tokens.
Transfer rallies PSG token prices
The PSG fan token was created in January 2020 on the cryptocurrency platform Socios.com. It aims to build the PSG fan community by giving token holders access to an encrypted ledger full of VIP benefits. These VIP perks include access to exclusive content, merchandise, and voting rights on minor team decisions.
The fan tokens are purchased with physical money. Purchasing more tokens gives holders more voting power. Some examples that holders can vote on include goal music, kit designs, and where the team goes on tour during pre-season. Fan tokens are also digital-exclusive assets with extremely high volatility. Due to their finite supply, their value can change drastically according to demand. Following Messi’s transfer, the PSG token doubled in value.
Lionel Messi’s current net worth
Messi’s current $41 million salaries is considerably less than his former $91 million per season at Barcelona. That being said, the football star is still the second-highest-paid athlete in the world just behind UFC fighter Conor McGregor. He is also the highest-paid football player in the world, with Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo hot on his heels.
On top of his annual salary, Messi makes $30 million a year in endorsements, which includes deals with brands like Pepsi, Gatorade, and Budweiser. Messi is also one of many legendary athletes on Adidas’s roster, along with big names like Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham. In 2017, he renewed his deal with the sneaker brand and signed a lifetime contract, which nets him $25 million annually. And reports suggest Messi’s current net worth is close to $600 million.
Barcelona’s financial failure
Messi ended his 21-year relationship with Barcelona when the debt-ridden club could no longer afford to pay his wages. The two parties reportedly reached a verbal agreement to renew Messi’s contract with a 50% salary reduction. However, the renewed contract still failed to meet La Liga’s regulations on player registrations, which state that player wages cannot exceed 70% of the club’s revenues. Barcelona’s debt is estimated to exceed $1.1 billion, which means they are in a serious financial predicament.
A new start
Following his departure from the Spanish giants, Messi’s new goal is to win the Champions League with PSG. Messi won the Champions League four times during his 21-year run with Barcelona – something PSG has failed to do so far.
At PSG, Messi has been reunited with former Barcelona teammate Neymar. Neymar’s influence played a significant role in bringing Messi to PSG. The two were in contact following Messi’s departure from Barcelona, after which the Brazilian took the opportunity to persuade the Argentine to join him in Paris.