Barcelona desperate to hold on to Messi
Lionel Messi has signed a new contract with Barcelona FC which will tie him down with the club until 2021. However, what is making headlines is the mammoth 700 million euros release clause added to his contract. After the 'Neymar transfer saga', Barcelona are desperate not to lose their best player and hence Messi's release clause has jumped from 300 million-euros to 700 million-euros.
The Neymar transfer saga
Fleet-footed Brazilian forward Neymar Jr. became the world's most expensive player when he switched from Barcelona to PSG for an astronomical sum of 222 million. Barcelona were not keen on selling their player, but Neymar wanted to leave and hence he bought out his contract. Despite Barcelona's numerous efforts, they couldn't keep hold of their star player courtesy of the Spanish law.
What is a buyout or release clause?
The clause is a part of the contract imposed on football clubs wishing to acquire the services of the player. It gets activated when a potential buyer produces a substantial bid of the clause money for the acquisition. The aim of the release clause is to discourage poaching of star players by competitors and to prevent players from not meeting their contractual commitments.
Real Madrid players top the charts
The largest buyout clauses are usually of those superstars playing in Spain with Real Madrid and Barcelona. Real Madrid superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema boast a release clause of 1 billion euros each while team-mates Isco and Marco Asensio are at 700 million euros. Lionel Messi's recently renewed new contract puts the Barcelona legend on par with his rivals.
Show me the money
Real Madrid's midfield ace Luka Modric has a release clause of 500 million euros while Bayern Munich midfielder James Rodriguez, who is currently on loan from Real Madrid, also boasts of the similar figure. Barcelona trio Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique and Real Madrid duo Sergio Ramos and Casemiro all have their release clause in the range of 200 million euros.
Why is the release clause in Spain so high?
Release clauses prominently feature in the La Liga because Spanish law permits every footballer to buy out his own contract. The law states that every employee has the right to earn more money and hence has the right to buy out his contract. Release clauses are sometimes inserted in clubs outside of Spain but are usually avoided when it comes to big superstars.