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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.

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