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Barcelona president willing to make Messi “best-paid player.” Step into his shoes: Would you have any reservations at all?

Jan 28, 2014, 10:57 AM EDT

Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba AP

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu hasn’t been on the job long, but it’s no surprise that he’s already been asked about the future of superstar Lionel Messi.

Bartomeu appeared on a radio show to make the comments, and Barcelona linked the interview to their web site.

The crux of the discussion is that Messi is a fantastic player, imitable, wonderful and not going anywhere.

“The club will sit down and negotiate a new contract. We will do what we have to, to ensure he’s the best-paid player.”

The interview comes in the wake of many rumors involving transfer pursuit from the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich. Messi just signed a two-year contract extension last February and there was an awkward non-battle with a board member last month regarding whether a wage increase was deserved.

Injuries have stopped the 26-year-old from replicating his absurdly prolific 2013-14, at least not yet. He’s scored 20 goals in 22 matches over all competitions for club and country, but his eight goals in 12 La Liga matches are a far cry from his 46 in 28 last season.

Ignore last season, however, and he’s doing about what he’s done in the past (although he’s twice gone three matches without a goal this season. He only did that once last season, and in those three matches he registered four assists (he has one in each stretch this year).

Maybe it’s obvious, and perhaps Barca’s exaggerating a bit, but make yourself the chairman of the Barca board: would you have any fears about making Lionel Messi the world’s richest player?

  1. dfstell - Jan 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Of course you have fears anytime you pay that much money to a player who can get injured. BUT….the guy has been mostly healthy his whole career and even with the injury was a Top 3 in the Balon de Oro.

    What is their alternative? Sell him? To who? I mean, if Bale was worth 100MM, what is Messi worth? How many clubs could afford such a price? Probably only four clubs could do it: PSG, Monaco, Chelsea and Manchester City.

    And then how do you replace him? Spend another 100MM to buy someone else and THEN pay them a huge wage? I’m not even sure who is out there to replace him or is that magnitude of a player.

    It makes the most sense to just overpay him a little bit and have him retire as a Barca legend. They’ll still be selling Messi shirts in 30 years the same way Pele and Maradona still have commercial value.

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