- Lionel Messi is the biggest taxpayer in Spain since he signed his current deal in 2017
- The six-time Ballon d'Or winner was said to have paid a total of £324m altogether
- Messi also paid levies on his image right and other businesses to avoid a repeat of his tax-evasion scandal of 2016
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Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has emerged the biggest taxpayer in the last four years in Spain.
The 33-year-old Argentine was said to have paid a staggering £324 million during the period under review as shown in his leaked contract.
Messi signed a mega-deal worth a staggering £492 million in 2017 - the deal regarded as the biggest sporting contract in history. The deal will expire this summer.
The implication was that the six-time Ballon winner had to pay significant income tax on his whopping wages.
According to SunSport quoting El Periodico, the forward is the single biggest contributor to the Spanish treasury and even pays more than many big companies.
The publication further revealed that Messi pays as much as £58m as tax from his annual £121m wages - this amounts to a little over 50 per cent of his earning.
Sources claim the Argentine also enjoyed £120m 'renewal fee' bonus after signing on the dotted line and £69m 'loyalty bonus' each year for staying put at Barca.
Messi also paid tax on image rights and other revenues he generated during this period. It is added that Messi's tax payments equal the average contributions of 120,000 Spanish citizens combined.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Lionel Messi could have been sent off in Barcelona's Copa del Rey defeat to Sevilla at the Sanchez Pizjuan.
Jules Kounde had put the home team in the first half ahead and while Barca were still trailing by 1-0, the incident occurred midway through the second half.
Messi had nutmegged Joan Jordan and the referee called for a foul for obstructing the Barcelona captain.
Oluwatomiwa is a sports editor with Legit.ng. He has over eight years of field and office experience in the media industry. He graduated from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism in 2014 with HND in Mass Communication. Connect with him on Twitter @TomiwaBabalola.