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Barcelona president claims Lionel Messi would cost €580 million

Aug 4, 2013, 3:05 PM EDT

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates a goal against Santos during their Joan Gamper trophy soccer match in Barcelona Reuters

Wow. That’s a lot of money.

According to the Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, Lionel Messi would be the one player he would absolutely not allow to leave Barcelona, but when asked to put a price on his head, he came up with €580 million ($770.3 million).

“All players who want to leave can leave, all but Messi” claimed Rosell in a sitdown with Spanish outlet Sport. “Someone would have to pay €250 million ($332 million) to pay the LFP clause, plus the 56% we’d pay in taxes. This would be about €580 million.”

Sounds like he’s thought about this before.

With the media throwing numbers around for Gareth Bale around €115 million, blowing Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer record out of the water, the prospect of someone ponying up that kind of money for the 4-time Ballon d’Or winner is…insanity.

For some comparison, American billionaire and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan recently bought Premier League side Fulham – an entirely debt-free club complete with prime London property on the banks of the Thames where the historic Craven Cottage is built – for somewhere in the range of a “measly” £150-200 million ($230-305 million).

So whether you agree with the evaluation or not, the best player in the world is apparently worth about three-quarters of a billion dollars.

You couldn’t meet that evaluation if you won the Powerball at the current rate – even without taxes taken out. It would take the largest divorce settlement ever by a celebrity – Tiger’s ex Elin Nordegren – to meet the evaluation. You could purchase approximately three of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliners that went into passenger service last year with that money.

Finally, you could buy about 6.24 Cristiano Ronaldos for one Lionel Messi. Just let that soak in for a while.

  1. etchedchaos - Aug 4, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Mr. Rosell has got his math wrong. 250million plus 56% taxes would come out at 390 million, not the 580 he claims.

    • Kyle Bonn - Aug 4, 2013 at 3:24 PM

      Incorrect. He means he wants to net €250 million. Therefore, due to the 56% tax, he needs to find a number that would net him €250 million if he paid 56% tax on the original fee. He overshot it for a bit, but its about €556 million that, when 56% is taken out for tax, gives you €250 million

      • etchedchaos - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:04 PM

        Yes, that would be 390, you surely cannot pay taxes twice. The release clause rules say a 56% tax on the fee paid, which is 390, they cannot then go and tax that 250 again.

        Messi’s release clause is 250, he’d be getting that before taxes, post-taxes is 390, where is the extra 166 coming from? Club X comes along and says ‘we’ll pay Messi’s release clause.’ To bypass Barca they would go to the LFP and pay that 250 and the 56% tax, that’s 390.

      • Kyle Bonn - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:06 PM

        Do 56% of 580m. Thats the taxes. So do 44% of 580m and see what comes up.

      • reformed2012 - Aug 4, 2013 at 10:08 PM

        Or easier math: 250ma / ( 1 – 0.56 )=

      • etchedchaos - Aug 5, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        He has a release clause of 250 million euros, that is the fee that would be taxed by the Spanish authorities. The tax is 56% of the release clause, which is 390 million euro’s for the total transaction.

        The rules are such that if a club wants to avoid negotiating with Barca they would have the player go to the LFP with the release clause and the income tax/vat which is 56%, so in Messi’s case that is 390 million – he’d be buying out his contract.

        So the figure that Rosell wants is balderdash, if you want Messi enough, you don’t have to worry at all about the 580 million he’s indicating. If it was a Spanish club however they can go to Barca and pay the 250million and thus the release clause is met, no tax paid etc etc.

        So again, explain to me where that extra 166 million is coming from?

  2. reformed2012 - Aug 4, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    One billion dollars will be chump change for Bill Gates or even Mark Zuckerburg. Bring Messi to MLS please.

  3. thememyselfandiguy - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    most overrated player in the world he is.

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