A collective sigh of relief was heard over Barcelona as details of Lionel Messi's new contract became public on Friday.
The Argentinian star has committed his future to the Spanish giants after months of speculation, as confirmed by FCB's Twitter feed and detailed by Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC:
Understandably, Messi's momentous deal prompted plenty of reaction across social media, as everybody wants a say on the man who has racked up four Ballon d'Or victories throughout his glittering career.
The announcement provided an excellent opportunity to roll out a plethora of key stats, as noted by Squawka and WhoScored.com:
Gambling site Paddy Power were amongst the first to react to Messi's hefty new wages, while rivals BetVictor provided a humorous image of what the 26-year-old may choose to do with his cash:
Irish website Balls.ie highlighted that any smidgen of time is money for Barcelona's star forward:
Duane Holmes, who currently plays in midfield for Huddersfield, offered a footballer's perspective on the myth that Messi would struggle in England:
While many focused on the huge amounts of money Messi will earn, Spanish journalist Rafael Hernandez highlighted the player's loyalty to Barcelona:
Messi's contract is his seventh in nine years, a tactic Barca have taken to ensure their player is happy with fresh terms and preferred wages. Tancredi Palmeri of beINsports suggests his wages are still second to one particular rival:
Guillem Balague, Sky Sports' resident Spanish football expert and Bleacher Report UK guest columnist, offered an alternative calculation to Palmeri:
The best players in the world should always have the best contracts, and John Brewin of ESPN FC believes annual renewals are the way with such a talent:
Of course, Messi's renewal means he can no longer sign for Bray Wanderers, who would have turned him down anyway:
Although Messi could finish the season trophyless with Barcelona—subject to Gerardo Martino's men beating Atletico Madrid in their La Liga finale on Saturday—his importance continues to grow. The Camp Nou side is traversing through a transitional time, one of the more difficult campaigns in recent memory, and they will be thrilled to have extended their leader's tenure.
Messi has scored 36 goals in 37 appearances across the Spanish domestic division and Champions League this year, per WhoScored.com. The harshest of critics believe his form has waned, a laughable consideration when you focus on the numbers.
The player's decision to sign is a major boost for Barcelona, who are set to carry out plenty of transfer business across the summer. Messi's name alone will attract many world-class players to the club and provide Barca with the confidence to excel next season.
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