All in, the Argentine earned close to €600m across four years, an average of €150m per season. Whether it’s a lot or a little is irrelevant, given it falls in the law of supply and demand.
It’s what it took for the best player in the world to continue in Catalonia, and the club with the highest income in football, largely down to Messi, could afford it.
2017, when Messi signed his deal, was also the year Neymar left for Paris Saint-Germain. In the three years previous Barcelona had won two La Liga titles and a Copa del Rey. Messi had won two Golden Boots and his sixth Ballon d’Or. Who would have wanted his cycle at Barcelona to end then?