- Lionel Messi is the highest-paid athlete in the world. He’s earned $127 million in the past 12 months, according to Forbes.
- Much of the soccer star’s fortune comes from endorsement deals with companies including Huawei, Gatorade, Pepsi, and a lifelong contract with Adidas.
- Despite his wealth and popularity, Messi is one of the most private people in the sport.
- Messi was convicted of tax fraud in Spain in 2016 and ordered to pay a $250,000 fine.
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Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest soccer player alive, and with that success comes fabulous wealth.
Despite his wealth and popularity, however, Messi, 31, is one of the most private people in the sport. He lives in a nice house in Spain, but the rest is a mystery.
Keeping reading to see how Lionel Messi makes and spends his millions.
Brandon Wiggins contributed to an earlier version of this post.
Messi has made $127 million between June 2018 and June 2019, according to Forbes.
He signed a contract with FC Barcelona in 2017 that pays him over $80 million annually.
He made $35 million from endorsements alone between June 2018 and June 2019, according to Forbes.
He signed a lifetime deal with Adidas in 2017 that pays $12 million each year, Investopedia estimates.
He also has deals with Huawei, Gatorade, Mastercard, and Pepsi, among others.
Messi also collaborated with Jacob & Co. in 2019 to launch his own line of watches, called JACOB&MESSI. The line included a $150,000 diamond-encrusted timepiece.
Messi is so valuable to Barcelona that if he ever leaves, the club that buys him will have to pay an $835 million buyout.
Source: The Telegraph
Messi lives in a house in Castelldefels, a mountain village just outside of Barcelona. The house has a garden, a swimming pool, and a football pitch.
He still owns and maintains his childhood home in Argentina, even though no one lives there anymore.
Messi is still especially close to his mother.
And he’s good friends with Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez.
He’s known to take the occasional private plane, like when he went to the Ballon d’Or gala in Zurich.
He married his long-time girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo in 2017. The two grew up in the same town in Argentina, and their families are friends.
They have three children together. The kids are now a staple of Barcelona trophy celebrations.
Despite what we know about how Messi makes his millions, he remains secretive about how he spends them. We get the occasional glimpse into his lavish side, like when he wore a polka-dot suit to an awards ceremony …
… or when he got a private meeting with the pope, himself a huge soccer fan, in 2013.
Source: Los Angeles Times
In 2013, he agreed to have a gold cast of his foot made and sold to support Japanese tsunami relief. It went for $5 million.
If his Instagram posts are any indication, he does enjoy a lavish vacation now and again …
… as well as chances to meet world-famous musicians, like Colombian singer-songwriter Maluma (pictured below) …
… and other famous athletes, like Von Miller of the Denver Broncos (pictured below).
Messi also has his own nonprofit, The Lionel Messi Foundation, that works to help vulnerable children across the globe. It worked with UNICEF to fund the construction of classrooms in Syria in 2017.
Messi also made headlines in 2016 when he was found guilty of tax fraud. He was ordered to pay a $250,000 fine.
But, unlike other many famous athletes, he doesn’t appear to be actively concerned with using his personal life to grow his brand on social media.
For the most part, Messi posts photos of himself relaxing with family, teammates, or his giant dog.
Messi’s lifestyle is often contrasted with his on-pitch rival Cristiano Ronaldo’s, who is known for relishing the spotlight.