Lionel Messi Could Cost a New Club About a Billion Dollars Up Front

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi / Pool/Getty Images

Lionel Messi wants out of Barcelona after nearly two decades. There isn't a club in the world that wouldn't want to have him, but is there a club in the world that can afford the 33 year old star?

Messi's salary is already a tall order for the financial realities of 2020, but the release clause in his current contract states that any team hoping to sign him would have to pay Barcelona €700 million, or $833,000,000 American dollars. That number is outrageous under normal circumstances. Now? Impossible. With a salary €100 million and that absurd transfer fee, Messi could basically cost a team a one-time payment of nearly a billion dollars.

According to ESPN, Manchester City would be willing to pay up to €150 million, which is very, very far from €700 million. So Messi appears stuck in Spain for the time being. His contract ends in 2021 so he could just sit out until then and spend the next year with lawyers negotiating legal ramifications of not honoring his contract.

Or there may be some third option. The soccer world operates in a seemingly parallel universe where players are sold and transferred from team to team, league to league, and country to country. The only rule is that a lot of money is always involved and Messi's situation definitely follows that rule.