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What you can get for Messi’s 700 million euro buyout clause?

  • Barcelona's Lionel Messi shoots the ball during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Valencia and FC Barcelona at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia, Spain, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) Alberto Saiz



Associated Press
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

MADRID — 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:

TOP CLUBS

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.

BARCELONA’S SQUAD

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.

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.