How Lionel Messi made billions to top the list of richest athletes

The historical event of becoming football’s second billionaire and topping Forbes’ list of the richest athletes ahead of competitor Cristiano Ronaldo was made by none other than Lionel Messi. Just last week Lionel Messi earned $1 billion in pre-tax earnings over the glowing 16 years of his career.

This remarkable achievement has people all over the globe wondering at how it was possible to create such a fortune, and they’re justified in doing so. But it’s no secret since he’s a celebrity and all he does is in the public eye.

Messi is reported to pocket around $98 million this year alone from his salary and endorsements. As well as having deals with Pepsi and Adidas the six times winner of Ballon d’Or has just launched a limited edition Budweiser beer.

Messi decided to stay on for another year on Nou Camp after deciding to leave Barcelona this summer. And you guessed it! It will cost the club an insane amount to retain him. Messi’s fixed salary at Barca totals $92 million, but the icing on the cake is the bonuses for staying, signing and for grabbing trophy there is.


Messi signed his extension contract with Barcelona at the age of 20 in 2007 and earned around $116,000 per week that made him one of the highest-paid players on the team. Ever since he made his striking debut in the team in 2004, he has been playing beyond everyone’s expectations, and his colossal salary is a testament to his worth to the Catalan giants.

Till his contract ends in 2021, he will have earned an average of $126 million per season just by playing 60% of the games. There’s no saying to the prospect of winning the treble and earning Fifa’s Player of the Year award—which catapults the final figure to well over the $140 million mark.

Messi has been consistently featured in the top 10 highest-paid athletes in Forbes and has been earning double of what he made in 2015. Endorsements have played the biggest role in his lucrative career and billionaire reaching status. The Argentine has far-fetching deals with Pepsi, Adidas, Gatorade, MasterCard and Huawei to mention a few. His other assets include a personalized clothing range, a Messi-inspired theme park is ready to open in China later this year and has a four-star hotel at a beach town close to Barcelona.

Messi knows what it’s like to have your bread buttered on both sides.

Image Credit: Wikimidia  Leo Messi

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