Lionel Messi’s contract at Paris Saint Germain includes some of the French club’s cryptocurrency fan tokens.
The Argentine, 34, left Barcelona due to “financial obstacles” and signed a two-year contract with the Qatari-owned PSG on Tuesday.
His contract includes an option for a third year as well as cryptocurrency tokens in his “welcome package”, which are estimated to be worth €25-30 million (£21-25 million).
PSG confirmed to Reuters that the assets are included in Messi‘s contract, and while they did not disclose the proportion of tokens in the package, they said the amount was “significant”.
The club said there was a high volume of trading in its fan tokens after reports that Messi was set to join the club.
Trading exceeded $1.2bn (£867m) in the days before his arrival and the club’s chief partnerships officer, Marc Armstrong, said: “We have been able to engage with a new global audience, creating a significant digital revenue stream.”
Messi joined the French giants after almost a week of speculation about his next club.
What are fan tokens?
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner was expected to extend his 21-year stay at Barcelona and had agreed to take a 50% pay cut in a new deal.
But the Spanish club announced last week they were unable to proceed due to “financial obstacles” and Messi was available on a free transfer.
He officially signed for PSG on Tuesday, in a deal reported to be worth £25m per year after tax.
Messi will now link up with former Barcelona team-mate Neymar, as well as French superstar Kylian Mbappe, fellow Argentine Angel Di Maria and former Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos – who joined PSG on a free transfer earlier this summer.
The football superstar joined Barcelona’s La Masia youth academy from his boyhood club in Argentina, Newell’s Old Boys, aged 13 and went on to make 520 appearances and scored 474 goals.
He was part of a Barcelona team that won 35 trophies, including four Champions Leagues and 10 La Liga titles and was named club captain in 2018 after Spanish midfielder Andreas Iniesta joined Japanese side, Vissel Jobe.
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