Messi and his Barcelona contract: How much is the sunrise worth?
It was always easier to moralize with the salary of an Athlete. What attracted the most attention was not the bombshell news (Lionel Messi’s contract with Barcelona), but the indignation tone. “Pharaonic contract that ruins Barça”, headlined the Madrid daily, El Mundo. And there, even more gigantic, the figure of 555,237,619 million euros. The newspaper’s cover would not have reached if the outrage had referred to the 540,000 million dollars that the ten richest people in the world accumulated in the last year of the pandemic.
Not the 13,000 million dollars that Jeff Bezos earned in a single day from Amazon’s rise. Not the size of the $ 590 million superyachts that English billionaire David Geffen used to warn us that he was “isolated in the Grenadines avoiding the virus.” And neither do the 82 million euros that a Swiss prosecutor discovered the protégé King Emeritus, who left for Dubai. It was always easier to moralize with the salary of an athlete. And even better if you play in the rival team. Player symbol of the team symbol of a city that also maintains airs of independence.
There are other adjectives in the opinion columns that accompanied the indignant front page of last Sunday. “Blessed parasite”, “slaver” and “shameful divism”, says one. And he adds that Messi “does not know decorum.” Another claims that the Barcelona club “sold its honor” and “knelt down” before Messi.
The outrage continued Monday and Tuesday (1st and 2nd of February). However, nuanced because many specialists have already shown that Messi generates for Barcelona almost double the income he charges. In that proportion, at least nine sports stars from the United States receive more money than we read.
“Putting a price on Messi is putting a price on the dawn”, Ricardo Colmenero writes then. How to believe that “the price of a Van Gogh” could be established according to the expenditure on “brushes, watercolors and hours of work”. The 10th, asks Colmenero, should continue because “thinking about the economic recovery of Barcelona without Messi, or without what remains of Messi, is like believing that tourism will circulate better in Paris if we get rid of what remains of Notre Dame.”
Another columnist speaks of “magic arguments”, but because he admits “the intangible factor of what Messi brings to Barça and even to Catalonia.” And remember the moment of the documentary “FC Barcelona Confidencial” in which the then president of the Generalitat, Jordi Pujol, asked the then head of Barcelona, Sandro Rosell, to please buy Ronaldinho.
“Catalonia needs it”, Arcadi Espada, Catalan journalist and writer, anti-independence, Real Madrid fan, co-author of a great biography about Juan Antonio Samaranch, often affirms that the renewed demand for independence Catalonia was the product of the “state of euphoria” that caused Pep Guardiola’s best Barcelona and Messi. “Unusual successes” by a team that was “systematically losing” led Espada to believe that “winning the independence of Catalonia was like winning the Champions League.” And that “that was possible thanks to the best soccer player on earth, which is Messi.”
Curious, because Messi, unlike Diego Maradona, is pure football (he has improved football) and, it is known, was always oblivious to political and social processes. His ceremonies of six Ballons d’Or, an ideal stage for some, not for him, who only speaks to thank colleagues and family. Well, maybe it doesn’t matter, after all.
As much as Messi hides when he does not play, it seems difficult to think that his influence, game, goals, records and titles, is exhausted in football. That is why perhaps he also earns so many millions. That is why it is also an unavoidable target.
After the trial’s announcement for having published a private contract, the newspaper El Mundo editorialized in the last hours claiming the “public interest” and warning that it will make “more revelations.” He also rejected an alleged Madrid partiality and recalled that he published a secret Real Madrid contract with Cristiano Ronaldo that complicated the Portuguese before the treasury. The Ronaldo thing was a crime. Messi, a contract between parties, was edited as if it were too.
It was perhaps a tray edition for the author of the leak so that Barcelona’s bankruptcy is the fault of Messi and not of the club that squandered hundreds of millions in useless signings, for it to go away Or for the salary to be lowered (which he should do if he wants to continue in the competition, in Barcelona or PSG, because only a golden exile would allow him to maintain that figure in the middle of the pandemic and already in his last years as a player).
A strong rumor attributed the leak to the president of the Barcelona Management Commission, businessman Carles Tusquets, who was treasurer of the club in the days of Diego Maradona and, since 2015, is the supervisor of finances. In other words, jointly responsible for the crisis. The rumor cites a meeting between Tusquets and one of the article’s authors at the Círculo Ecuestre de Barcelona, an 1856 club of the Catalan bourgeoisie. Months ago, Marius Carol, another important journalist, spoke at the club.
He is the same man who, as we have already written, stated years ago that, without Barcelona, Messi “would have been a guy from the metro forty who would not have been able to catch himself on buses.” Of course, we know at least why Messi got rich. The TV shows it every weekend, and it’s been so for the last fifteen years.