New deal makes Lionel Messi soccer's top earner

Lionel Messi will be paid $27.4 million per season under terms of his new deal with Barcelona

Lionel Messi, soccer's four-time world player of the year, signed a revised contract with Barcelona on Monday that will make him the sport's best-paid player.

The new deal will reportedly pay him a base salary of $27.4 million a season. Spanish media reports say Messi will also get nearly $7 million a year on bonuses. In addition, the 26-year-old Argentine will regain control of his image rights, which could bring in millions more.

Based on wages and endorsement, Forbes estimated Messi was among the 10 best-paid athletes  in the world last year.

Before Messi signed his new contract, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, the reigning player of the year, was soccer's best-paid player, getting $25 million in base salary from Real Madrid.

Messi's deal runs through the 2017-18 season. Since Messi debuted with the Spanish club in 2004-05, Barcelona has won 21 titles, including six league championships and three Champions League crowns.


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