What Messi's €700m buys
MADRID, Spain (AP):
If a rival football team were to pay Lionel Messi's €700 million (US$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 five million Barcelona jerseys.
The likelihood of anyone triggering the clause seems remote, especially considering that it wouldn't guarantee that the goalscoring great would go anyway. But after Paris Saint-Germain paid Barcelona a record €222 million (US$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 (US$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 some of the things €700 million can buy in the world of soccer:
Nine of the world's most valuable football 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. Among the teams with a lower value are Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund.
Man U'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 football's biggest moneymakers released by accountancy firm Deloitte. It generated £515.3 million (€689 million) 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 (US$485 million), according to specialised German site Transfermarkt.com, which analyses transfers worldwide.
Five expansion teams
The current expansion fee being charged by MLS is US$150 million (€125 million), meaning that owners could start five expansion teams with the money they spend to acquire Messi.
All other players in Barcelona's squad this season have a combined market value of €586 million (US$698 million), according to Transfermarket.
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.
Half of Spain
The market value for players in half of the Spanish league's teams is worth €622 million (US$741 million), Transfermarkt said, and that includes those in some traditional clubs such as Real Betis and Deportivo La Coruna.
Messi's clause is 17 times bigger than the current market value for the entire squad of southern Madrid club Getafe.
Instead of signing Messi, teams could build state-of-the-art venues such as Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in London, which cost nearly €600 million (US$715 million) and is one of the most expensive stadiums owned by a club in Europe.
Barcelona rival Real Madrid is expected to spend €400 million (US$476 million) to add a retractable roof and renovate its Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
With the €700 million, Barcelona could afford to forfeit its current jersey sponsorship deal for more than 12 years.
The club is receiving about €55 million (US$65 million) a year from Japanese company Rakuten in an agreement valid until 2021.
Manchester United is getting about €60 million (US$71 million) a year for its record jersey sponsorship deal with Chevrolet.
Just the shirt
The 700 million euros would be just enough for five million Barcelona jerseys at a cost of €140 (USUS$167) each.
The official replica costs €85 (US$101), which would allow for a total of more than 8.2 million jerseys.