- Lionel Messi is the biggest taxpayer in Spain since he signed his current deal in 2017
- The six-time Ballon d'Or winner was said to have paid a total of £324m (R6.5 bn) altogether
- Messi also paid levies on his image right and other businesses to avoid a repeat of his tax-evasion scandal of 2016
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has emerged as the biggest taxpayer in the last four years in Spain.
The 33-year-old Argentine was said to have paid a staggering £324 million (R6.5 bn) during the period under review as shown in his leaked contract.
Messi signed a mega-deal worth a staggering £492 million (R9.9 bn) in 2017 - the deal regarded as the biggest sporting contract in history. The deal will expire this summer.
The implication was that the six-time Ballon winner had to pay significant income tax on his whopping wages.
According to SunSport quoting El Periodico, the forward is the single biggest contributor to the Spanish treasury and even pays more than many big companies.
The publication further revealed that Messi pays as much as £58m (R116m) as tax from his annual £121m (R2.4 bn) wages - this amounts to a little over 50 per cent of his earning.
Sources claim the Argentine also enjoyed £120m (R2.4 bn) 'renewal fee' bonus after signing on the dotted line and £69m (R139m) 'loyalty bonus' each year for staying put at Barca.
Messi also paid tax on image rights and other revenues he generated during this period. It is added that Messi's tax payments equal the average contributions of 120,000 Spanish citizens combined.
Briefly.co.za earlier reported that Barcelona legend Lionel Messi has been crowned the world's best player of the decade between 2011 and 2020 by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).
The 33-year-old beat his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo who came second on the list and eight other superstars to win the prestigious award.
Other big names on the 10 man shortlist are Andres Iniesta, Neymar, and Sergio Ramos but they didn't do well enough to earn the gong.
The international organisation tasked its members across 150 countries to vote for the player deserving of the status, and it was the Argentine who fit the bill after the polls.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!