Soccer Star Messi Embraces Crypto In Move To PSG
Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi will receive payment in cryptocurrency fan tokens as part of his move to French club Paris Saint-Germain, the club announced Thursday, part of the player’s lucrative two-year deal with the team amid soaring popularity for the new assets.
Messi’s signing on package included a payment of “$PSG Fan Tokens,” the club said in a statement Thursday, a “world first for such a high-profile signing.”
The club did not disclose the value of the tokens—it has also not disclosed details of Messi’s overall compensation—but said he had received a “large number” of tokens.
Fan tokens are a type of cryptocurrency that give the holders access to certain benefits like voting on club decisions and rewards.
The value of PGS’s token, which was launched in 2020 and has a market capitalization of around $52 million, surged to an all time high of over $60 a token amid speculation Messi would join the club.
Marc Armstrong, Paris Saint-Germain’s chief partnership’s officer, said embracing fan tokens “has proved a massive success for the Club” and has allowed it “to engage with a new global audience, creating a significant digital revenue stream.”
Messi is widely considered one of soccer’s best active players and one of the sporting world’s most bankable stars. His decision to join PSG comes at the end of a 20-year association with FC Barcelona—he agreed to join their youth academy at the age of 12—due to the team’s financial limitations. The use of the crypto fan tokens in his signing on package appears to be novel for such a high profile player and an indication of their increasing popularity among sports teams. Dozens of Europe’s top soccer teams have embraced them over the course of the pandemic as a sort of digital take on in-person fan clubs
$75 million. That’s how much Messi is believed to be earning as an annual salary at PSG, multiple people familiar with the deal told Forbes. This will be bolstered by bonuses and a cut of player rights, including jersey sales. It will keep Messi among the ranks of the world’s best paid athletes. Forbes ranked Messi as the second-highest paid athlete of 2020, scoring $130 million.
Source : Forbes