10M-euro bonus, private box among Messi’s requests to stay at Barça: media

Barcelona, Spain, Sep 21 (EFE).- Football superstar Lionel Messi requested a 10 million euro renewal bonus and a private box at the Camp Nou for his family and that of Luis Suarez during his negotiations to extend his contract with FC Barcelona in 2020, according to emails published by Spanish daily El Mundo.

The Argentina talisman, who now plays for Paris Saint-Germain, also tabled a symbolic unilateral release clause of 10,000 euros to sign until 2023 and a pay rise with 3% interest to recoup a 20% wage cut due to the pandemic.

He also asked the club to provide a private plane for his family during the Christmas period, according to the internal correspondence between the erstwhile Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu and Messi’s father and agent Jorge, as well as his legal team, obtained by El Mundo.

Other proposals from Messi’s team stipulated that the club would cover any tax increases, renew the contract of his assistant Pepe Costa and pay a commission to his brother Rodrigo, who represented Barça’s rising star Ansu Fati.

The revelations date to just before Messi’s tumultuous end to his time at FC Barcelona, a club he joined as a teenager.

At the time, Messi had a contract worth nearly 74 million euros.

The situation changed in August that year when Messi sent an official notice to the club requesting his release, as per a clause in his contract that allowed him to walk free each season.

FC Barcelona successfully argued that the player had missed the deadline in May, despite the fact the LaLiga season had been postponed and resumed later than usual due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The following year, despite last gasp efforts from new club president Joan Laporta, who had taken over an institution struggling to keep its financial books in order, Messi made an emotional departure to PSG. EFE


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