For nearly two decades, Argentina's Lionel Messi has consistently remained the world's greatest footballer, raking in an impressive portfolio of trophies and personal prizes. Read to find out how much he is worth compared to his rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
In the 21st century, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are in a continual battle for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award each year. While both of them are still dominating men's football, Messi is considered by fans and experts to be the best player in the world given his enviable portfolio.
7-time Ballon d'Or winner
While Ronaldo has won the Ballon d'Or five times in the past 12 years, Messi has won it seven times, lending him the nickname 'GOAT' (Greatest of All Time). In the previous 12 years, only two other football players was able to dethrone them from the top rank - Ronaldo's former Madrid teammates Luka Modric and Karim Benzema.
Rising as a young talent in his hometown club in Argentina, Lionel Messi rose to superstardom as he joined Spanish giant Barcelona in 2003. After a 18-year tenure at the club, Messi established himself as its greatest goalscorer and the undisputed greatest player of all time, netting 672 times in 778 appearances.
He then joined Paris Saint Germain in the 2020/2021 season, and despite faring ineffectively in the first months, Messi has now become an indispensable part in the club's playing style. Not only is Leo the key creative player in PSG's lineup alongside Neymar and Mbappe, but he is also the inspiration for the whole squad. So far in this season, Messi has scored 12 goals and provided another 13 assists, compared to Ronaldo's poor statistics of only 2 goals, 1 assist for Manchester United.
2022 will be Messi's last World Cup
Leo also competes for the national team of Argentina, scoring 80 goals in 158 games. He also won 4 titles with the Argentine national team, and in 2022 Finalissima was his latest achievement.
Argentina will be led by Lionel Messi in his fifth and maybe final World Cup. And with him, Argentina has a good chance of capturing its third championship in history, after poignantly losing to France in the 2018 World Cup.
What is Lionel Messi's net worth?
According to Forbes, Messi has made $1.15 billion over his career, both on and off the field.
After reaching an agreement with PSG, it is anticipated that Messi would earn between $30 million and $35 million each season while playing for the Ligue 1 club, in addition to team and player bonuses.
Much like Ronaldo, Messi's many sponsorship deals are too numerous to list in their entirety but the most significant is with the makers of his boots. Leo earns around $40 million per year from his sponsor endorsements with Adidas.
Messi has also been part of prominent campaigns with Pepsi, Gillette and Turkish Airlines. As part of their 2019 celebrity-rich list, Forbes valued his endorsements at $35m for that year in total. It has stayed the same, with the 2021 list stating his off-field earnings stood at $33m.
More recent sponsorship partnerships include brands such as Lays, SikSilk, Leafty, Jacob & Co. and Gatorade.
According to the Insider, he is currently the highest-paid star in the game, with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo releasing the details of his contract value in 2021.
Messi's various business endeavours
Of course, Messi's reputation as a pure athlete who is uninterested in the opulent lifestyle offered to him off the field contributes to his attractiveness.
His seeming aversion to diversifying into other activities and developing a personal brand has, in some ways, become a brand in and of itself, making him appealing to sponsors. While Messi is not renowned for pushing lingerie, shoes, and scent brands like Ronaldo, he has dabbled in real estate. In Rosario, Argentina, for example, he has invested in the Azahares del Parana project and an apartment complex in the city centre.
With his playing days approaching their conclusion, Messi has expanded his interest into the lifestyle and fashion industry, with The Messi Store flogging clothing, reports Celebrity Net Worth.
Like many footballers, Messi has also dipped his toe into the investment worlds of cryptocurrency and NFTs, working in partnership with Ethernity, a company which also works with Pele and Luka Modric among others.