At 32-years-of-age, Lionel Messi remains a one-club soccer player, having spent his entire adult career and most of his time as a youth player for the Spanish giant- Barcelona. Despite discussing a desire to return to his childhood team of Newell’s Old Boys and often being linked with a move to link up with his former mentor, Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, Messi is held in place with a contract of a staggering $45 million per year until 2021.
Why are Lionel Messi’s earnings so high?
In 2019, Forbes classed the Argentinian forward as the world’s highest-paid athlete making an estimated $127 million over the course of the last year. The staggering $92 million in wages and winnings paid to Lionel Messi by Barcelona provide him with a huge base to build on. A range of business activities and sponsorships add an additional $35 million to the total Lionel Messi earnings in 2019.
Messi is generally classed as the greatest player in the world, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, the pair are generally agreed upon as the most popular and best players of their generation. It is a little more difficult to make estimates about Lionel Messi’s earnings because of the secrecy that has surrounded his work and major contracts outside of his soccer-playing salary at Barcelona.
Being attached to one of the most famous soccer clubs in the world, which is known for its dedication to playing the game in the right way and entertaining fans, has not harmed the reputation of the Argentinian captain. The majority of the earning potential of the Barca forward comes from outside Argentina, where he has had a difficult period with fans following some below-par World Cup performances. Despite the difficulties faced by Lionel Messi during his career with Argentina, he recently signed a lifetime deal with Adidas similar to those penned by Cristiano Ronaldo and LeBron James with Nike.
Messi vs. Ronaldo
There is no player on the planet to compare Messi with, other than Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been his main rival for many years. With the career of Neymar stalling at Paris Saint-Germain, the Brazilian seems destined to sit at a level just below Messi and Ronaldo.
It is tough to get an overall view of the 2019 Lionel Messi earnings because of the secrecy that surrounds much of his outside interests. Ronaldo is a constant social media presence building his CR7 brand, as he traveled from teams in his native Portugal to England, Spain and now Italy. Remaining with Barcelona throughout his career has been both a blessing and a hindrance for Messi, as he is often classed as the most skillful player in the world, but the ability of Ronaldo to adapt to new leagues is greatly respected.
The differences between Messi and Ronaldo can be seen in their varying interests in the business world. While Ronaldo pushes business interests based on his own personal brand, Messi has rejected much of the celebrity lifestyle his soccer talents allow him, and instead invests in real estate, rather than the underwear lines and home goods created by Ronaldo.