Messi becomes world's highest-paid soccer player
FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi of Argentina, gestures during their Spanish Copa del Rey semifinal second leg soccer match against Real Sociedad, at Anoeta stadium, in San Sebastian northern Spain, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
The Associated Press
Published Monday, May 19, 2014 2:25PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 19, 2014 2:27PM EDT
BARCELONA, Spain -- Lionel Messi has signed a restructured contract extension with Barcelona that reportedly makes the Argentina international the world's highest-paid football player.
Barcelona had originally announced the deal on Friday and says it was officially signed on Monday. The Catalan club says Messi "was very motivated by the deal."
The 26-year-old Messi will earn a reported $27 million per season with further incentives able to drive the deal up to $34 million per year until the contract ends in 2017-18 -- surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo's deal with Real Madrid. Messi also has a buy-out clause of $343 million.
Messi's previous contract ran through the 2017-18 season and was worth a reported $22 million per season.
Messi's deal comes two days after Barcelona lost its Spanish league title to Atletico Madrid following a 1-1 draw between the teams at its Camp Nou Stadium.