The fundamental point regarding the contract, which is lucrative, is that Messi earns the club more than he himself earns.
A team composed of Marc Ciria, Josep Fabra and Ivan Cabeza have calculated exactly what the Argentine has earned for Barcelona since signing that deal back in 2017, and have surmised that while Messi cost Barcelona €383,655,000 in this time he’s made them €619,265,000, a surplus of €235,610,000.
The study concludes that Messi represents 30% of Barcelona’s income. The Argentine is the epicentre of the club’s business, doing far more than simply scoring goals.
Sponsorship contracts have one price with him at the club and another without, not to mention of income derived from ticketing, corporate boxes and the sale of replica shirts.
The team compare him to Neymar, revealing that while the Brazilian has cost Paris Saint-Germain more than he’s earned for them, Messi is comfortably in the black.
Neymar is cost, Messi is investment. Despite this, his earnings aren’t sustainable moving forward. The answer lies in a project for life, intertwined with what Nike did with Michael Jordan.