How Barcelona still get a payday from Lionel Messi reaching World Cup final

Lionel Messi is still proving profitable for Barcelona
Lionel Messi is still proving profitable for Barcelona / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Lionel Messi hasn’t been a Barcelona player for almost 18 months, yet his former club are still set to receive a welcome lump sum for his involvement in Argentina's clash with holders France in the 2022 World Cup final.

Messi has won every other major prize in the game, from domestic league and cups, to Champions League and a continental international title. But a World Cup still eludes him and he has always said that this tournament would be his last on the global stage.

As part of what FIFA calls its Club Benefits Programme, $209m has been set aside to distribute as compensation and rewards to domestic teams for releasing players for the tournament.

It is not just a player’s current club who receive a chunk of that, with sides that players have represented since 2020 also eligible for rewards due to their role in a player’s development.

The going rate is around $10,000 per player per day of World Cup duty, including reporting for a duty a week before the tournament. So any player reaching the final can bring in an estimated $370,000 in compensation for their club (and any recent former teams).

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The money is split into thirds between the 2020/21, 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons. Messi’s compensation pot, for example, will mostly go to Paris Saint-Germain for the current season and the last one. But Barcelona will be entitled to more than $120,000 for his World Cup involvement.

In total, Barcelona had 17 current players at the World Cup, plus another six who have since moved on but were at Camp Nou within the last two and a half years.

Their total CBP payment from FIFA after this tournament stands to be just over $4m.

In addition to Messi in the final, Barcelona will be compensated for Jules Kounde – but only for this season following his 2022 transfer for Sevilla, and Ousmane Dembele, for whom they the full $370,000. There is also a season’s worth of money coming in for Antoine Griezmann.