Inside Lionel Messi’s luxury life: the world’s highest-paid athlete and football champ earns millions from PSG, Adidas and Pepsi, and splashes out on Ferraris, Maseratis, and his hotel chain, MiM

Lionel Messi is currently the world’s highest-paid athlete. Photos: @leomessi/Instagram, @XHSports/Twitter
It’s no secret that a successful athletic career doesn’t only lead to fame but fortune, too, bringing in the big bucks both on the court and off in the form of lucrative endorsements. But among these sports stars, one man boats the fattest bank account of them all …

Lionel Messi is the highest-paid athlete on the planet right now.

According to Forbes, the Argentine football superstar took home US$130 million between May 2021 and May 2022, surpassing LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar on the rich list. The footballer is currently playing for Argentina in the Fifa World Cup 2022, of course, with his team recently going up against Poland on December 1.

Let’s take a look into how he makes and spends that money.

Lionel Messi makes a ton of money on the field …

Lionel Messi is the world’s highest-paid athlete. Photo: Kyodo

According to Forbes, Messi took home an astonishing US$75 million in on-field earnings over the last year – more than any other sportsperson on the planet.

His Paris Saint-Germain salary alone is worth US$35 million annually, which means he earns US$673,000 a week, or US$96,000 a day.

The 35-year-old Argentine also pocketed a tidy US$26 million joining fee when he signed for the French team last summer, reported the Evening Standard.

… But he also earns a lot off it

Lionel Messi earns a lot of money off the football pitch too. Photo: @leomessi/Instagram

Messi’s off-field earnings of US$55 million over the last year can only be topped by tennis icon Roger Federer and NBA superstar LeBron James.

On top of a US$20 million-a-year partnership with cryptocurrency “fan token” platform Socios, the athlete’s endorsement portfolio includes deals with Adidas, Budweiser and PepsiCo.

Lionel Messi in an ad campaign for Hard Rock International. Photo: @leomessi/Instagram

Last June, he also became Hard Rock International’s first ever athlete brand ambassador.

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His net worth is an eye-watering US$600 million

Lionel Messi is worth a whopping US$600 million. Photo: @leomessi/Instagram

That extraordinary US$600 million net worth is estimated by Wealthy Gorilla.

According to Forbes, Messi has earned US$1.15 billion during his career on and off the field. Only three currently active athletes – LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo and Tiger Woods – have ever earned more.
Only two other current athletes – Roger Federer and Floyd Mayweather – other than those mentioned above have ever surpassed US$1 billion in career earnings, according to Forbes.

Messi likes to spend his money on luxury cars

A Ferrari F430 Spider. Photo: Ferrari
According to Goal, Messi’s impressive car collection includes a US$2 million Pagani Zonda Tricolore, a Ferrari F430 Spyder, a Dodge Charger SRT8 and a Maserati Gran Turismo.
Lionel Messi is a car fanatic. Photo: @leomessi/Instagram

The Argentine is rumoured to have bought the most expensive car ever, a 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Spider Scaglietti, for US$37 million in 2016. He appeared to deny the speculation, however, by way of a tongue-in-cheek Instagram post in which he shared a photo of himself holding up a toy car with the caption, “My new car.”

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He owns a host of stunning properties …

Lionel Messi is an Argentine football player. Photo: @leomessi/Instagram

The most luxurious of Messi’s properties is his US$7 million mansion on the outskirts of Barcelona.

Located in the exclusive, no-fly zone suburb of Castelldefels, the property includes a pool, indoor gym, theatre and spa, as well as stunning views of the Catalan mountains and the nearby beach, according to Architectural Digest. There’s also a football pitch where Messi likes to have a kickabout with his dog, Hulk.

Messi also owns an “eco-house” themed around his career, a mansion in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina, and the entire floor of a luxury condominium in Saint Isles Beach, Florida, which he paid US$7.3 million for in 2021, according to The Real Deal.

… As well as a number of hotels

Lionel Messi runs a host of hotels too. Photo: @leomessi/Instagram
Since 2017, Messi has owned the hotel chain MiM Hotels, operated by Majestic Hotel Group, which has resorts in Ibiza, Majorca and Barcelona.

In 2021, the chain opened its first winter resort in the heart of the Pyrenees, in the Aran Valley.

Lionel Messi owns the hotel chain MiM Hotels. Photo: @leomessi/Instagram

The four-star hotel has 141 rooms and includes a spa, an indoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and mountain guide services, according to Forbes.

He has been forced to demolish his hotel in Barcelona, however.

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Messi bought the building in 2017 for US$35 million, at which point its demolition had already been approved because its balconies are too big.

He’s unable to fix the issue too as any attempt to remove or downsize the balconies could result in the hotel collapsing. … Whoops.

He likes to holiday

Lionel Messi enjoys the lavish lifestyle, being a multimillionaire. Photo: @leomessi/Instagram
To get around the world, Messi flies in his US$15 million private jet … and quite a bit, too.

Messi’s 2004 Gulfstream V private jet includes two kitchens and bathrooms, and can accommodate up to 16 passengers.

It features the No 10 – his shirt number from his time at Barcelona – on its tail and the names of his wife, Antonella, and their children on its steps.

This summer, Messi celebrated his 35th birthday with his family at the Ushuaia, a beach hotel in Ibiza.

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The football star’s former Barcelona teammates Cesc Fabregas and Luis Suarez and their wives also joined. As well as in Argentina. And in Miami.

According to the Miami Herald, Messi chose to holiday on the beaches of South Florida after winning the 2021 Copa America with Argentina.

The PSG star rented a US$10,000-a-night, four-storey mansion in Key Biscayne, which boasted five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a gym, a rooftop terrace and an infinity pool, reported British media.

Messi is very generous with his wealth

Lionel Messi is also known to be involved in philanthropic work. Photo: @leomessi/Instagram

The Lionel Messi Foundation, formed in 2007 in partnership with Unicef, helps vulnerable children around the world.

In 2017, Messi donated his own money to help the foundation build classrooms for 1,600 war-orphaned children in Syria, according to Unicef, while in 2019, the foundation donated US$218,000 to provide food and water for citizens in Kenya, reports Goal.

“It excites me every day that I get a child smiling, when he thinks there is hope, when I see that they feel happy,” reads a statement from Messi on the foundation’s website.

“That’s why we decided to create the Leo Messi Foundation, and I will continue to fight to make the children happy with the same strength and dedication that I need to continue being a soccer player.”

This article originally appeared on Insider.
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  • Messi is the world’s highest-paid athlete, surpassing LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar on the Forbes 2022 list thanks to his thriving career – he’s playing in the World Cup too, of course
  • The Argentine player earned US$1.15 billion on and off the field – joining Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Floyd Mayweather, who have also crossed the billion mark