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Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi was left reeling after details of his contract at the club were published in the French media, according to reports. After Messi completed a stunning free transfer from Barcelona in the summer, national newspaper L’Equipe ‘leaked’ his wages on their front page.
In September, L’Equipe revealed that the 34-year-old would earn a net salary of £94million (€110m) across the next three seasons if he stays for the entirety of his initial contract.
Messi will earn £25.6m (€30m) throughout his first season in Paris before an increased fee in his second and third campaigns.
The Argentine icon is set to pocket £34.1m (€40m) in 2022/23 and 2023/24 before his contract expires.
Although figures at PSG have strongly denied the accuracy of L’Equipe’s report, Messi was left unhappy with the situation.
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According to Guillem Balague, writing for BBC Sport, Messi was ‘less than impressed’ with how details of his PSG contract leaked out.
His frustrations were intensified by the fact it took ‘years’ for his wages at Barcelona to become public knowledge in Spain.
Messi has also been irritated by the nation’s coverage of his family’s search for a Paris property.
His privacy was respected in Spain, but he is not happy with the French press’ intrusion by interviewing estate agents and property experts.
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PSG sporting director Leonardo quickly shut down the report, claiming L’Equipe’s front page was ‘completely false’.
He said: “We can’t accept this. This is unacceptable. This is completely false. I wanted to tell you that.
“I think it’s a lack of respect, and we didn’t like it. I don’t understand the timing. This is really very far from the truth, on the duration and the numbers.
“There are confidentiality clauses, but I can say that this is not the truth. The duration of the contract is two years. It’s wrong, it’s not that, and we didn’t like it.”
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Messi’s issues off the pitch may have contributed to his surprisingly slow start to life at PSG.
He has scored just one goal and registered no assists in his first five games for the French giants.
But his first goal was a memorable one, netting the second in PSG’s 2-0 win over Manchester City in the Champions League group stage.
It proves even the world’s best players often need time to adapt to new surroundings, but he undoubtedly come good at the Parc des Princes.
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