Lionel Messi’s eye-watering demands to stay at Barcelona in 2020 have been revealed in a significant leak.
The veteran superstar left the Spanish giants in summer 2021 after 21 years at the club, joining Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer when his contract expired.
And according to revelations from El Mundo on Tuesday evening, Messi’s stipulations to stay at cash-strapped Barcelona included a massive signing-on bonus of £8.7million and a private jet to fly his family back to Argentina at Christmas.
He also requested a luxury executive box at the Nou Camp for his family and the family of former Barca team-mate Luis Suarez, with the security of a three-year deal until 2023 plus an option to extend.
Other demands made in June 2020 included lowering his buyout clause from £610m to a nominal fee of just £8,700 – almost negligible given the money in today’s market.
Additionally, after accepting a 20 per cent pay cut to his fixed salary in 2020-21 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he asked for that to be recouped with a 10 per cent increase to his net salary of £65m a year for the next two seasons, plus a three per cent increase in annual interest.
The information was recovered from emails between Jorge Messi, Lionel’s father and representative, the 35-year-old’s legal team, and Barcelona chiefs including then-president Josep Bartomeu.
El Mundo report Barcelona accepted all of Messi’s demands except two: refusing to lower his release clause to £8,700 and making the £8.7m signing-on bonus conditional on the club returning to their pre-pandemic income, which was and is unlikely given their well-publicised financial issues.
Due to this, the 162-cap international quit negotiations, culminating the infamous ‘Burofax’ sent to the club to inform them of his desire to leave.
Spanish newspaper El Mundo had previously leaked the details of Messi’s gargantuan £492m contract