And as much as clubs like Inter Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and even Manchester United are being linked with a move, it can be no coincidence that City are the club in everyone's mouth right now. 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The Messi held up a soccer ball -- imagine this in slow motion, the sun behind him and the ocean glistening -- and gestured to Mackenzie, asking if he wanted to play. ", © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. As a result, I expect the likes of Neymar, Robert Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappe to keep their hands firmly on the golden trophy despite Messi's best efforts in England. Messi has been consistent earning those, posting 12 consecutive seasons with at least 31 goals and hitting 700 career goals in June, joining Ronaldo as the only active player at that level. Hookit reports that from January to July this year, Messi put up 117 social media posts that received 235 million likes, comments or shares, creating $22 million in marketing value for the brands he promoted. If the star forward simply shows up at Barcelona’s Camp Nou in September, he will end the 2020-21 season with more than $1 billion in career earnings, a victory only three athletes before him have won. 11. Messi’s longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo became the first team-sport competitor to do it when he earned $105 million during the 2019-20 season. No matter what Messi chooses, the billion-dollar honor is his to lose. We expect that to keep tumbling down in the Premier League, however, both in terms of Messi adapting to English football and also because Guardiola could help facilitate the star man's retreat into midfield. I've been predicting City to wrestle back the Premier League title from Liverpool way before Messi was even on their radar, so signing arguably the world's best player would end the debate for good. Is there room for the best two passers in the world to play in the same midfield? It sounds brutal, but you know it makes sense (it does for me, at least). Updated 0552 GMT (1352 HKT) July 25, 2019. All Rights Reserved. "I was a bit shy at first but then just did what I love doing best.". Trust me, this is much less of a slight on Messi than it might seem at first. Added. He has a lifetime deal with Nike and a long-term partnership with Herbalife, as well as a lifestyle brand that started with his CR7 line of underwear in 2013 and has expanded to include shoes, perfume, denim, hotels, gyms and his latest offering introduced this month, sunglasses. However... there's no denying that Messi becoming more of a playmaker has taken a toll on his goal-scoring, though it goes without saying that scoring 'just' 25 league goals is still great going. I only ever made a team after my second time trying out, when I showed up the next year with my much more athletic younger sister. There are still a few legal hurdles to clear before Messi can start putting pen to paper on a contract elsewhere, but you get the feeling that groundwork is being laid to bring the Argentine to England. "He wasn't bothered about actually playing, but the best part was I almost nut-megged him!". Tiller54 18:15, 9 … Until last week, soccer watchers were expecting the Argentine icon to sign a new deal on par with his current one to take him through retirement, but that was before his battle with Barcelona boiled over. After my closest attempt at sporting success came in a spelling bee (thank you ESPN for televising and giving that sport cred), I finally decided to take the advice of all those coaches who told me I had the brains and benchwarmer's big mouth better suited for sideline competition. The more rough and tumble players in this formidable Liverpool squad will be hungry to subject both City and Messi to more heartache at Anfield and I fully back them to win convincingly at home. 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(True story: she played as my proxy on Forbes' softball team one season.) “Globalization has made soccer, always the world's most popular sport, also the world’s most lucrative in terms of revenue generation,” says Stefan Szymanski, author of Soccernomics and a University of Michigan professor of sport management. I don't think there's any denying that De Bruyne and Messi sharing the pitch will be anything but a good thing for City, though I would expect that the Belgian's one-man-team routine will come to an end as a result. “In soccer, there is more or less unfettered competition on a global scale—there are no drafts, salary caps, etc.—and the best players generally go to the highest bidder.”. Neymar’s Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappé will make less than half that. We can't wait to see him walking out into an empty stadium to strangely night club-like music, before hugging Moonchester and being taught Manchester slag in a cringe-worthy first interview. I failed at that, and softball, basketball, volleyball, track, ice skating and cheerleading in the process. I failed at, I spent the first half of my life trying to be an athlete so I could become the second woman after Mary Lou Retton to appear on the front of a Wheaties box. After a yearlong battle with FC Barcelona, the Argentine icon is threatening to leave the club after 16 years, ditching the final year of a contract that could make him the highest-paid player in what has become the world’s most lucrative sport. I predict City to finally make it past the quarter-finals under Guardiola next season, only to come unstuck against this menacing side from Bavaria that could start dominating Europe's top competition. Barcelona have spent the last few seasons being increasingly choosey about which games Messi makes the squad for, never mind the bench. Mackenzie O'Neill was on a family vacation in. Not everyone is as lucky as Mackenzie. Now after studying business at Drexel University and journalism at NYU, I compete for bylines, primarily writing about the business of sports. I don't even have a problem with Joe Hart having a pitch named after him nor speculation about David Silva earning a statue, it's just that I can't see City doing anything less than wanting to milk Messi playing for them. But the one prediction we do want to come true is Messi actually moving to the Premier League because, let's face it, having one of the greatest athletes ever on English shores would be simply fantastic. Even with the greatest player of all time in their starting XI, I fail to see a world in which the Citizens could outdo this omnipotent Bayern Munich side or perhaps even a resurgent Paris Saint-Germain. Let's not pretend as though Andrew Robertson and James Milner won't be sniffing blood in the water when Messi steps off the team bus on Merseyside. "He looked like he was just happy to see his kid playing normally with another kid," Mackenzie said. Where he lands—and how much he will make there—remains to be seen, although it is unlikely any club can afford to pay him the salary Barcelona can. “He is the best player in the world, and the best player in the world you want in your team; you don’t want him playing against you,” Koeman said at a Wednesday press conference. The strutting and often shirtless Ronaldo perfected the sport’s showman brand while the media-shy Messi was hailed as the modest one, more interested in his footwork than footwear, as prolific a goal scorer as a wingman and a master at crediting teamwork. – In 54 games for club and country, Messi scored 46 goals in … Whether it's Burnley or West Brom or West Ham, you name it, Messi will silence the doubters by scoring a glorious solo goal when the rain is pounding down and seasoned professionals are trying to crop him. That, and the fact City's brand of football would surely bring out the best in Messi with the sort of expansive, passing and fluid approach that has arguably died out at Barcelona since 2015. The yearlong fight included a dustup over the midseason appointment of a manager that ended with his dismissal this week, a smear campaign against Messi and his wife reportedly dialed up by the club itself, and an embarrassing 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich that put an early finish to Barça’s Champions League title hopes. Join the discussion or compare with others! A pretty straight forward prediction, this one. Just a year ago, Messi dropped down to fifth in the voting as Luka Modric claimed the gong, but the Barca superstar has been back to his best in 2019. As for my sporting endeavor, I decided to focus on the one where I only compete with myself: running. (CNN)An 11-year-old's entire life was just made thanks to a trip to the beach, a soccer ball, and none other than Lionel Messi. It was the first season in 12 years that Messi failed to win a trophy and one for which he took a 70% cut in base pay—$11 million—after the pandemic halted play for three months. Soccer’s No. Tiger Woods surveys the course before a put. Whether it's lifting the Premier League trophy outside the ground or playing random music as the players exit the coach, it always tends to feel sterile or wreaks of commercialism. Look, I'm sorry, but the team at the Etihad Stadium aren't afraid to give out props to some of their recent players. You may opt-out by, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change. Yeh, sorry City fans, but I think you need more than Messi to end your Champions League hoodoo and shoring up your defence with Koulibaly might not be enough, either. 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It was the first season in 12 years that Messi failed to win a trophy and one for which he took a 70% cut in base pay—$11 million—after the pandemic halted play for three months. Lionel Messi 90 - live prices, in-game stats, comments and reviews for FIFA 11 Ultimate Team FUT. We don't really have any more logic behind this other than the fact Messi struggling in tough weather conditions and against teams that play long-ball football is nothing short of a fallacy. he told CNN. I spent the first half of my life trying to be an athlete so I could become the second woman after Mary Lou Retton to appear on the front of a Wheaties box. I couldn't go more than 10 predictions without a thinly-veiled dig at City, could I? Michael Jordan, who tallied $550 million in career earnings during his 15 years playing for the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards, remains the world’s only billionaire athlete, the bulk of his fortune created by a well-timed investment in the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. It would only make sense for Messi to rear his head in the Carabao Cup or FA Cup from the semi-final stages, if City are facing top, top opposition or they needed a late goal to survive. There's still a long way to go before we see Messi in a City jersey, if that is indeed what the 33-year-old hopes to achieve, but I'm pretty sure we're not alone in speculating about that possibility. I can be seen crossing the finish line of my front door celebrating my first place victory a few mornings a week...then eating a bowl of Wheaties, because "that's what big girls eat. Tiger Woods was the first athlete to earn $1 billion while still competing when in 2009 he sunk $10.5 million in prize money and more than $100 million off the links, mostly through an endorsement deal with Nike. Ronaldo, who is two years older, has become the world’s most popular celebrity, with 443 million social followers across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter—and the most marketable athlete in the world, too. "It was incredible to see him move," Mackenzie said. On Messi's last day in Antigua, Mackenzie played one last time with Thiago while Messi stood off to the side, watching. I fully expect those sort of numbers to become customary for Messi as we see him playing deeper and deeper and with City's midfield proving a major upgrade on Barca's, you can expect the record to fall. We’ve rounded up 11 stats which show just why Messi deserved to win the award. According to Hookit, which tracks social media sponsorship value, from January to July this year, he created $28 million in value for the brands he promoted through 275 social media posts and the 873 million engagements with them. Floyd Mayweather landed the honor in 2017 after a bet on himself that removed legendary promoter Bob Arum from his corner and led to a string of self-produced pay-per-view bouts that brought in more than $25 million 12 times, including $275 million for his 2017 fight with Conor McGregor. Some things are just meant to happen and although Messi wouldn't be playing on a 'cold, windy night in Stoke', you just know he'll thrive in the next best thing: a trip to Turf Moor. I promise this isn't going to be one long list of two-dimensional jibes at City, but come on guys, even you've got to admit that you aren't the best at organised presentations. It makes sense for Messi to reunite with Pep Guardiola after their incredible partnership at Camp Nou and the Premier League would be the perfect arena in which he could prove his versatility. Messi didn't speak much English, Mackenzie said, but his wife translated for him. The two, along with Messi's son Thiago, played soccer for about 40 minutes. De Bruyne was carrying the Citizens by himself at times last season, so I expect, with Messi by his side, that his stats would experience a slight decline in 2020/21, albeit by no fault of his own. Then, like something out of a beer commercial, there was Messi. Looking back, the only thing amazing about my persistent pursuit of sporting glory was my lack of self-awareness. As if Mackenzie, who plays soccer as a goalkeeper, would ever say no. Messi's recent criminal conviction for tax fraud, custodial sentence, and fine should be regarded as a more serious life event than "Messi holds the record for most assists made in La Liga", and so should be included in the lead.Dingowasher 07:00, 7 July 2016 (UTC) Agreed. Barcelona is planning to pay its star forward $92 million this upcoming season, about a third of that in the form of performance incentives. An 11-year-old was playing soccer on the beach while on a family vacation. It’s the kind of free-market economics that until this year were the domain of independent contractors. Messi Impossible Goals in Football || Lionel Messi Hardest & Most Technically Difficult Goals Ever || Combine that with the fact fans probably wouldn't be able to attend because of the COVID-19 pandemic and you can be sure that Messi will get a strange welcome to life at City. Messi’s arrival in the billion-dollar clubhouse will mark a climactic chapter in what has been soccer’s most expensive sideshow since 2009, when he and Ronaldo first faced off on competing teams in Spain’s La Liga. Messi is no endorsement slouch either, earning about $33 million annually through endorsement deals with lifetime partner Adidas, Lays, Mastercard, watchmaker Jacob & Co, Qatar-based telecom Ooredoo and his new signature lifestyle brand launched last year with Ginny Hilfiger, sister of Tommy, at The Messi Store website. As much as I love Messi, he sometimes in disappears in games exactly like this, so I imagine him being substituted off around 70 minutes after being battered with tackles and shoulder-barges all game long. Messi will never win the Ballon d'Or again. Trust me, this is much less of a slight on Messi than it might seem at first. [106] 3 earner, Neymar, has so far earned $450 million in his career and stands to make less than $100 million this season. But try telling that to Messi who, as he slowly converts his playing style into that of a playmaker, went one better by turning provider for 21 goals in La Liga this season. Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring another goal by ripping off his shirt and showing off his chiseled physique. Messi could do what Ronaldo did when he left Real Madrid for Italy’s Juventus and make up for lower gross pay with a tax scheme that keeps his net pay level. Kevin De Bruyne and Thierry Henry currently share this piece of history by way of racking up 20 assists in the 2019/20 and 2002/03 seasons respectively, which is setting the bar pretty high. So, yes, whether it's while he's playing in Manchester or when he eventually waves goodbye, I just know they'll name something named after him, whether that's a pitch, canteen, stand or recycling bin. And I only expect that to increase amidst the brutal scheduling of English football, particularly around Christmas time, so I fully anticipate Messi to be sidelined for many of the early cup ties. Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Who is the world's most marketable athlete? And it wasn't just the one shootaround -- Mackenzie hung out with Messi and his family for a couple days while their stays in Antigua overlapped. It looks like the high-fives may have to wait. Then, like something out of a beer commercial, there was Lionel Messi. But if we know anything about sport in England, it's that people love to make predictions before anything major happens in the hope they'll either look like Nostradamus or can laugh at how stupid they were months later. Besides, Messi seems to have the same mental block in Europe that City do right now. Messi, Suarez & Ronaldo: Who had the most goal+assist contributions every season? Assuming a playmaking role, he was again instrumental in a Clásico on 29 November 2010, the first with José Mourinho in charge of Real Madrid, as Barcelona defeated their rivals 5–0. Combine that with the fact I'm predicting City to continue their Champions League struggles and that Messi will be 35 years old by the time of the next World Cup to see that his trophy cabinet might not be Ballon d'Or-worthy, either. Get Forbes’ daily top headlines delivered straight to your inbox for news on the world’s most important entrepreneurs and superstars, expert career advice, and success secrets.