Messi becomes the highest-paid footballer, was it all a hoax?

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo have again topped the charts for the two best-paid footballers in the world. Lionel Messi leads the list of highest-paid footballers after earning $126m over the past year, with Cristiano Ronaldo closely behind with $117m.

The Barcelona superstar sent shockwaves to all the Barcelona fans and left the footballing world befuddled when he contacted Barcelona regarding leaving the club from where he started his career. All of this happened after the Catalans went trophyless in the 2019-20 season.

Messi thought he could depart using a clause in his contract to leave for free but Barcelona and La Liga disputed that claim and insisted that the Argentine’s deal could only be terminated if his €700m release clause was paid. The board’s incompetence was also one massive reason Messi wanted to leave but he later performed a U-turn and elected to stay with the embattled La Liga giants for at least the 2020-21 campaign.

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring for Barcelona during a game on May 23, 2020.
Messi     LA Times

Messi’s above-mentioned record salary is not only because of football but also endorsements over the past 12 months. Paris Saint-Germain stars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are third and fourth respectively, while Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah stands fifth.

The top ten list also includes World Cup winners Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski and Manchester United’s ‘numero uno’ David de Gea.

The trend of enormous wages began to post the transfer of Paul Pogba to Manchester United as it was followed by Neymar moving to PSG for a world-record fee along with Mbappe moving away from Monaco. Since then the market never really came down and almost every player who has proved something in the top five leagues is sold or bought for at least £50m.

This does nothing but puts additional pressure on the player as he is severely judged only by his numbers and not the overall development he brings out in the team.

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