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:
El Pais say Messi gets payrise from €13m to €20m [net] per year. Release clause [250m] & end date  unchanged http://t.co/URUjyvmq7W— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) May 16, 2014
El Pais say Messi will have renounced his personal deal with Turkish Airlines [due to Barca's with Qatar Airways] to help reach agreement.— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) May 16, 2014
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:
Lionel Messi has scored a goal, executed a key pass or made an assist once every 23.6 mins in La Liga this season. pic.twitter.com/yICljzWxh2— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 16, 2014
Lionel Messi: Has dribbled past an opponent at least 405 more times (767) than any other player in the last 5 seasons in La Liga— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 16, 2014
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:
Messi has signed a revised contract with Barcelona today. Works out at £380k per week. Unfathomable amount of money.— Paddy Power (@paddypower) May 16, 2014
Reports suggest Lionel Messi's new contract is worth a record £16.3million plus further incentives pic.twitter.com/F1TVez7hsL— BetVictor (@BetVictor) May 16, 2014
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:
People say messi daren't n couldn't play in the prem when the Spanish league is probably a better standard. Confuses the life outa me— Duane Holmes (@DuaneHolmes) May 16, 2014
While many focused on the huge amounts of money Messi will earn, Spanish journalist Rafael Hernandez highlighted the player's loyalty to Barcelona:
Messi officially renews with Barcelona until 2019, could play for any club he wanted and earn all the money in the world, but chose to stay.— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) May 16, 2014
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:
Sorry for Messi, but actually Cristiano Ronaldo earns 21m€ per year (only salary) not 17m€ as somewhere reported.So he's still the second...— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) May 16, 2014
Guillem Balague, Sky Sports' resident Spanish football expert and Bleacher Report UK guest columnist, offered an alternative calculation to Palmeri:
Messi renewal. Its not 20m euros net, but it id more than 17 so the best paid player in the world. And till 2018— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) May 16, 2014
Messi keeps 100% image rights. More than 15 teams enquired about his situation this season.— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) May 16, 2014
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:
Messi signs a new contract every year, surely.— John Brewin (@JohnBrewinESPN) May 16, 2014
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.