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Messi’s Barca deal worth $A880m: report

A Spanish newspaper has leaked the details of the Lionel Messi’s mammoth Barcelona contract, which it claims is the biggest in sports history.

El Mundo said it had access to the document Messi signed with the Catalan club in 2017, in which the Argentine star’s earning can reach 555 million euros ($A880m) over four seasons.

The deal is said to include fixed income, image rights and variables of 138m euros ($220m) per year.

In addition there is a 115m euros ($A182m) “renewal fee” for accepting the contract, and an additional 78m euros ($A124m) as a loyalty bonus.

The newspaper said it is the most expensive contract ever paid to an athlete.

Messi would have to pay about half of that amount in taxes in Spain.

The report said the 33-year-old Messi has already secured more than 510 million euros ($810m) of the total contract.

The leak comes as Barcelona try to manage a huge debt, reported to be in excess of one billion euros ($A1.6b) prompted mostly because of the coronavirus pandemic.

They are being led by a caretaker board since president Josep Bartomeu resigned in October while facing a no-confidence motion, with presidential elections scheduled for March 7.

The newspaper detailed how Messi has rewarded the club over the years, having helped them win more than 30 titles including 10 La Liga trophies and four Champions League triumphs.

Messi has been with Barcelona for nearly two decades but asked to leave at the end of last season after saying he wasn’t happy with the direction the club was headed.

He had his request denied but will be able to leave for free when this season ends.

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