Lionel Messi is set to sue Spanish newspaper El Mundo and the five Barcelona club members who may have been responsible for leaking images of his current contract to the media.
The 33-year-old put pen to paper on the deal back in 2017, and the documents leaked at the end of January show that the Argentinian superstar will have earned an eye-watering €492m by the time it expires in the summer of 2021.Messi is understandably furious over the article printed in El Mundo, and he has decided to take legal action against the Spanish outlet, as well as the five Barça officials who had access to the private documents, as reported by RAC1.
It is the first time that the superstar has laid the blame at anyone’s door, for an act which is considered to be of illegal activity, and punishable by the law.
Details published in the report show that the superstar became the highest-paid player in world football back in 2017, when he signed the bumper contract in question, worth €492m.
The story has caught the world’s attention, with many turning against Messi and blaming him for Barcelona’s financial demise.
Messi suspects that former president Josep Maria Bartomeu is behind the leak, given the fractious nature of their relationship, which led to the forward attempting to terminate his contract in order to force a move away from Camp Nou in the summer.
Along with Bartomeu, Jordi Mestre, the former vice-president, general manager Oscar Grau, president of the club’s management board Carles Tusquets, and head of the club’s legal services Roma Gomez Ponti are all possible culprits for this crime.
Barcelona are also carrying out an internal investigation of their own to understand who could have leaked the documents to the press, as they look to repair relationships with their talisman.
But with Messi’s contract expiring in the summer and the Argentine weighing up his options, this act of betrayal may be the final straw for Barça’s greatest ever player.