Argentine football star Lionel Messi, who has officially joined French giants Paris Saint Germain, is reportedly being partly paid in crypto. The 34-year-old Argentine left Spanish side Barcelona last week and signed a two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) for $30 million signing-on fee. The deal will net Messi an annual salary of $41 million plus bonuses.
PSG on Thursday confirmed that cryptocurrency fan tokens were included in the footballer’s package, Reuters reported. The club, however, did not talk about the proportion of tokens in the package, but said it was a “large number.”
Fan tokens are a type of cryptocurrency that permit the holders to vote on almost all the minor decisions related to their clubs.
PSG said there was a high volume of trading of its fan tokens after reports of Messi joining the club emerged.
“The hype surrounding the latest signings in the club’s busy summer transfer window created a huge surge of interest in $PSG Fan Tokens, with trading volumes exceeding $1.2 billion in the days preceding the move,” it said, NDTV reported.
In a press conference held on Sunday, Messi confirmed his departure from FC Barcelona, where he played his entire career.
“This year, my family and I were convinced we were going to stay here, at home — this is what we wanted more than anything,” an emotional Messi said.
Messi had been out of contract since June and was forced to cut short his time with the side, which is battling huge debts, due to a breakdown in the contract. He had become a free agent upon the expiration of his contract in June.
“This is very difficult, I was not prepared for this. Last year I was convinced to leave, but this year we were, my family and I wanted to continue here, in our house,” Messi said at the press conference.