The £205m Messi bid

Messi celebration


An unidentified Russian club triggered the Argentinian wizard’s automatic release clause and would pay him £24m a year after tax, according to a Spanish report.


The astronomical offer, which would have more than doubled the current world record transfer fee, triggered Messi’s automatic release clause – meaning Barca were contractually obliged to accept it.


However, the bid, which would also have seen the club paying Messi a salary of £24m a year – £461,000 per week – AFTER tax, obviously did not interest the player.


The approach came during negotiations that ended earlier this month with the Argentinian signing a two-year contract extension at the Nou Camp.

While the story in El Mundo Deportivo, a Spanish sports daily, does not name the Russian club,billionaire-owned Anzhi Makhachkala are felt to be the likeliest candidates.

Anzhi made ex-Barca striker Samuel Eto’o the game’s highest paid player when they signed him last year.

Messi, 25, has won the Ballon d’Or, awarded annually to the world’s best player for two years in a row and is widely tipped to make it three on the spin.

He also set a football record that may never be broken in 2012, scoring 91 times for club and country in the calendar year.

The previous best, set in 1972 by West Germany striker Gerd Muller, was 85.

Read the report here.

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12 Comments on “The £205m Messi bid”

  1. Rui Miguel Martins December 28, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    Does that transfer include Iniesta and Xavi because that’s the only reason he could possibly be worth that much.

    • Amin December 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

      91 goals this season! He’s worth 200m on his own. You don’t think?

      • Rui Miguel Martins December 28, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

        No, there are many contributing factors to that total. David Villa went down and Messi started playing as the only striker. Barcelona’s switch to 4-3-3 usually benefits the sole striker. Most of his goals have come against clubs like Real Sociodade, Espanol, etc. Plus, Barca play a possession game.

        Plus, Messi only won the Copa del Rey this year. If you think goals is all that matters in futebol than you would be wrong. Zidane didn’t score many goals and he won far more than Messi at the age of 25!

      • Humaid December 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

        You’re right Rui. Goals are not all that matter. What we have to remember though is that other than his 91 (91!) goals, he also had the second-highest assists in La Liga last year. On top of that, he also scored 12 goals in 9 games for Argentina, became the first person to score 5 goals in Champions’ League game, and ended the 2011-2012 season as the highest goalscorer in the Champions’ League, for a FOURTH year in a row. That is an impressive achievement against the best teams in Europe. And I feel that also negates the argument that he only does it in Spain against easy teams. Sure, Barca play to his strengths, but I assume any team that had Messi would. Argentina have started to and are now reaping the benefits.

  2. Omer December 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    Zizou was in a class of his own!!

    I guess the debate over Messi will always remain till he performs
    1. In a number of tournaments for Argentina over a few years
    2. Outside the Barca way of playing and in a different country as well.

    Can he really change his game to suit the teams needs or does the entire team need to change and work around him?

    That being said he would be a hit in any other team as well …. maybe not as good but still world class!

    • Humaid December 30, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

      I disagree with that. There are no doubts over Pele’s greatness despite the fact that he did not play outside Brazil (ignoring his stint with the NY Cosmos…I never quite understood why someone would name their team “Cosmos” but hey). Pele won three world cups with Brazil, but what is also important is that he was surrounded by some of the best players in the world, all playing in a system that worked.
      Maradona, who was part of a far more average team than Pele, had a lot more to do individually. Which is why Argentina made sure their tactics were suited to him. It is also, coincidentally, one of the reasons he failed at Barca. They did not alter their tactics for him. Messi has the advantage of being brought up playing this style.
      As for Messi performing in an other country, I am not sure what culture shocks and weather barriers he would be susceptible to, but he has already played against the best players, teams and tactics other leagues could throw at him, and he has generally come out on top. Just look at his stats in the champions league. He also has 3 winner’s medals at the age of 25. Zidane got his first a month short of his 30th birthday.

      • Omer December 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

        I never saw Pele play so cant really say; and at that time would players go and play in Europe?

        Of course every “great” player has some more great players next to them. but my question was that can Messi change his game to suit the team?

        say the old Chelsea which would hit the ball long to Drogba – would Messi be as good for them as say he would be for Arsenal or Swansea (a passing team).

        hence what Martins said – how good is Messi without the system? (passing, xavi, inniesta etc. etc.) is he then really worth that much then?

      • Humaid January 2, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

        No player is worth 250 million Euros. That’s just insane. That is also the reason it is his buyout clause…not because that’s what he’s worth, but because Barca think no one would be crazy enough to pay that much. Of course, Barca don’t seem to have learnt that there are enough crazy clubs around (How much for Ibra-who?) to splash any amount of cash. And by enough crazy clubs I mean around 3.

        I don’t understand the debate here though. The reason Drogba excelled at Chelsea and that Ibra and Maradona did not at Barca was the system the teams played. Every player is suited to a particular system and performs best in that system. Messi, for instance, started on the wing for Barca, and was brilliant. He has also played as a playmaker on occasion and excelled. But it is through the middle as the false 9 – where Guardiola played him – that he has truly reached unbelievable heights. And it is in that position in the Barca system where he is most effective. In the same sense, Maradona would not have been as effective had he not been the focal point of the Argentina team and had to adapt to a different position/system. Rivaldo had the same issue in Barca under Van Gaal when Van Gaal insisted on changing tactics which forced Rivaldo to play wide instead of in a free role. Veron had the same issue when he moved to ManU, and Riquelme to Barca. Messi doesn’t have to be the most versatile player to be the best. No one has to be the most versatile to be the best.

      • Rui Miguel Martins December 30, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

        True, but he wouldn’t do as well in the Premier league. La Liga’s quality tips considerably after third place. Plus, a few of his goals with Argentina were in friendlies including three against Brazil.

        I’m not saying he isn’t a good player but people are seriously jumping the gun with comparing him to Pele and Maradona. I remember when people talked about Kaka, Ronaldinho and the Brazilian Ronaldo that way. Some good players in their own right.

        He has a chance to be a great player but lets face it he has everything to prove with Argentina. He scored zero goals in SA2010 and at the Copa America zero goals in 4 games. In the quarter final loss to Uruguay he missed an easy goal from about 8 feet away which he struck softly into the goalkeeper’s arms.

        Sure, he’s scoring against Bolivia and Ecuador in qualification, but I’m not sure Argentina could break down tight defenses like Barcelona are so good at. Not against tight European teams.

      • Humaid January 2, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

        I think I may have discussed a few of the topics in my reply to Omer. I feel Messi has already surpassed Kaka and Ronaldinho. I also think that Ronaldo was unlucky with injuries, and I still maintain that he is one of the best strikers of all time.
        With regards to Messi’s Argentina performances, check this out. http://wp.me/p2wyGs-KH

      • Rui Miguel Martins January 3, 2013 at 12:39 am #

        Interesting, but unfortunately not convincing. Let him score one goal in a major tournament then we could talk. Qualification in south america is easy and rarely means much. Qualifications performances don’t mean much in general. Just ask any English fan!

      • Humaid January 3, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

        I guess we’ll just have to wait till next year, then. Should be an interesting 16 months. Many players to keep any eye on before the world turns its attention to Brazil. Can’t wait.

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