Lionel Messi Reportedly Turned Down €100M Salary from Chinese Super League

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2018

BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 04:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona reacts after the opening goal of RCD Espanyol during the La Liga match between Espanyol and Barcelona at RCDE Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Lionel Messi reportedly rejected the offer of a €100 million (£88 million) yearly salary from the Chinese Super League before he signed a new contract with Barcelona. 

According to Francesc Aguilar of Mundo Deportivo (h/t James Whaling of the Mirror), the offer from CSL officials would have seen him earn in the region of £1.7 million per week, but he instead chose to remain with the Blaugrana.

The Argentina international's deal was set to expire at the end of the season, but he put pen to paper on a new contract until 2021 in November.

While the 30-year-old is not on quite as much money as he'd have received in China, he's still among the world's top-earning footballers:

B/R Football @brfootball

Messi is balling 😳💰 https://t.co/UrqHPMubpx

It's easy to see why Barcelona and the CSL are willing to pay him so much, though, given he's considered by many to be the greatest player of all time.

Messi has spent his entire career with the Blaugrana and produced a staggering 534 goals and 243 assists in 617 matches for the Catalan giants.

Since making his senior debut in the 2004-05 season, Messi has picked up eight La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions Leagues and five Copa del Rey trophies, among other honours. It's fair to say he has made his mark at the Camp Nou, per Grup 14's Rafael Hernandez:

Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117

4.000 goals have been scored at the Camp Nou, Messi has scored or assisted 10% of them.

With Barcelona nine points clear at the top of La Liga and ahead of Real Madrid, Messi looks set to add yet more major silverware to his ever-growing trophy cabinet.

As ever, he has played a key role in the side achieving their position in the league table, per OptaJose:

OptaJose @OptaJose

1 - Lionel Messi is the first player to reach double figures for both goals (20) and assists (10) in La Liga this season. Monologue. https://t.co/FPDqzEgDZk

His capture would have been an incredible coup for the Chinese Super League, who have managed to snap up the likes of Carlos Tevez and Oscar in recent years but no one in the same bracket as Messi.

With the potential to accomplish so much more at the highest level of the sport, however, landing him would have always been unlikely, even with the amount of money on offer.