In better news for Barcelona, living legends Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Carles Puyol all signed contract extensions on Tuesday. Xavi and Puyol will remain at the club until June 2016, presumably the end of both of their careers, while Messi tacked another two years onto his current contract, which is now set to expire in June 2018.
Messi will now earn $21.2 million for each of the coming seasons, a sum that includes both his base salary and bonuses. La Marca lumped these together because the targets are ones he will easily reach, such as playing in 65 percent of Barca’s games (injuries do not count toward this) and reaching the UEFA Champions League, which Barca has achieved in each of the last nine seasons. The salary increase does not make the Argentine the most handsomely paid player on the planet -- that honor goes to Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala’s Samuel Eto’o, making $26.5 million per season -- but it does take him from No. 9 to No. 2 on the list.
If another club wants to buy him out of his contract and Messi agrees, it would have to fork over a whopping $332.5 million. Xavi’s buyout clause is no slouch, either, at $106 million, while Puyol is more affordable at $13.2 million.