What you can get for Messi's 700 million euro buyout clause
By TALES AZZONI
Nov. 28, 2017
MADRID (AP) — If a rival soccer team were to pay Lionel Messi's 700 million euro ($834 million) buyout clause, Barcelona could potentially buy nine of the 20 most expensive teams in the world.
Or it would have enough to buy every player in Major League Soccer at the same time.
It could even pay for 5 million Barcelona jerseys.
The likelihood of anyone triggering the clause seems remote, especially considering that it wouldn't guarantee that the goal-scoring great would go anyway. But after Paris Saint-Germain paid Barcelona a record 222 million euros ($264 million) for Neymar, the team is clearly trying to scare off any potential candidates.
Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu said the club decided to more than double Messi's original clause of 300 million euros ($358 million) because of what happened with Neymar.
Buyout clauses are not used in every country, but they are often put into effect to help protect clubs and give players the right to leave for a fee if they are not satisfied or want better deals.
Here's a look at how far 700 million euros go in the world of soccer:
Nine of the world's most valuable soccer teams are worth less than the new clause on Messi's contract, according to Forbes.
In its most recent rankings, only 11 of the top 20 clubs are valued higher than 700 million euros. Among the teams with a lower value are Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund.
MANCHESTER UNITED'S REVENUES
The amount spent to trigger Messi's buyout clause would be almost the equivalent of what Manchester United generates in revenues in a year.
The English club topped a recent ranking of soccer's biggest moneymakers released by accountancy firm Deloitte. It generated 515.3 million pounds (689 million euros) for the 2015-16 season.
ALL MLS PLAYERS
The players in the 22 teams in Major League Soccer have a market value of 407 million euros ($485 million), according to specialized German site Transfermarkt.com, which analyzes transfers worldwide.
FIVE MLS EXPANSION TEAMS
The current expansion fee being charged by MLS is $150 million (125 million euros), meaning that owners could start five expansion teams with the money they spend to acquire Messi.
All other players in Barcelona's squad this season have a combined market value of 586 million euros ($698 million), according to Transfermarkt.
Teams hypothetically could forget about Messi and just try to sign the rest of Barcelona's players for significantly less than they would have to spend on the Argentina forward.
HALF OF SPAIN'S PLAYERS
The market value for players in half of the Spanish league's teams is worth 622 million euros ($741 million), Transfermarkt said, and that includes those in some traditional clubs such as Real Betis and Deportivo La Coruna.
Messi's clause is 17 times bigger than the current market value for the entire squad of southern Madrid club Getafe.
Instead of signing Messi, teams could build state-of-the-art venues such as Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in London, which cost nearly 600 million euros ($715 million) and is one of the most expensive stadiums owned by a club in Europe.
Barcelona rival Real Madrid is expected to spend 400 million euros ($476 million) to add a retractable roof and renovate its Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
With the 700 million euros, Barcelona could afford to forfeit its current jersey sponsorship deal for more than 12 years.
The club is receiving about 55 million euros ($65 million) a year from Japanese company Rakuten in an agreement valid until 2021.
Manchester United is getting about 60 million euros ($71 million) a year for its record jersey sponsorship deal with Chevrolet.
JUST THE SHIRT
The 700 million euros would be just enough for 5 million Barcelona jerseys at a cost of 140 euros ($167) each.
The official replica costs 85 euros ($101), which would allow for a total of more than 8.2 million jerseys.
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