Lionel Messi: Superstar's Raise Was Well-Deserved

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 20, 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 16:  Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the la Liga match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium on December 16, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Barcelona reached a lucrative agreement with Lionel Messi on Wednesday, making the Argentinian the highest paid football player in the world.

The deal will keep Messi on Barcelona through 2018 for a cool salary of €16 million net ($21.2 million), according to Forbes.

And he's worth every bit of it.

Messi broke the record for most goals scored in a calendar year in 2012. After scoring twice against Atletico de Madrid on Sunday, he now has 90 goals on the year, surpassing Gerd Muller who had 85 scores in 60 games.

The Argentine striker has simply been a gift for Barca, leading them to 19 titles since turning pro, including three Champions League titles and five La Liga crowns. He's been named the best football player in the world for three straight years by FIFA and is expected to take home his fourth straight Ballon d’Or this year.

Beyond Messi's incredible finishing skills (whether it be swinging the ball home or heading it), his ball skills and balance when running downfield have earned him great praise throughout the years.

He's nearly impossible to tackle when he gets a full head of steam going, and he defies logic with the way he controls the ball at top speed. Combined with his creativity, fearlessness and killer instinct, it's no wonder why Messi is undeniably the best football player on Earth.

This is clearly an exorbitant amount of money; but not only does Messi always keep Barcelona in the driver's seat on the pitch, he's one of the most marketable players in the world. He's a player you give anything to keep because he not only helps you as a club, but boosts your revenue off the field.

This is the sixth contract negotiation between Messi and Barca since 2000, but any football fan or businessman can tell you that every negotiation was well worth it.

When you have a player like Messi, figures simply go out the window.

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