Lionel Messi has a new deal with Saudia Arabia’s tourism authority but it comes with a few important caveats.
Over the weekend, the NY Times’ Karim Zidan released a report that revealed Messi would earn up to $25 million in three years for traveling to Saudi Arabia, doing a few commercials, and posting about his trips to Saudi Arabia.
A contract between Messi and Saudi’s tourism authority offers rare insight into their partnership:
-$2 million social media post
-$2 million per promotional visit
-$25 million up for grabs
-Can’t “tarnish” 🇸🇦 image
— Karim Zidan 🪶 (@ZidanSports) June 18, 2023
Via NY Times
The contract shows that Messi could receive as much as 22.5 million euros, about $25 million, over three years for little actual work: a few commercial appearances, a handful of social media posts and some all-expenses-paid vacations to the kingdom with his family and children. He is expected to share images of those trips — marked with a Saudi-approved hashtag — with his vast online following.
According to Zidan, in the deal, Messi cannot say anything that will tarnish Saudi Arabia’s reputation.
But the document also contains a condition important to Saudi officials: Messi cannot say anything that might “tarnish” Saudi Arabia, a country that has faced widespread criticism for its human rights record.
Fans are already criticizing Messi over the deal.
So this is how much it takes to help launder a country’s reputation. https://t.co/yD1rsOGxjg
— Anton Tabuena (@antontabuena) June 18, 2023
He may be the greatest, but he just sold his own right to free speech… https://t.co/J9wRXWwArI
— Kate Neilan (@Magic_Kitten) June 18, 2023
Messi, who currently signed a deal to play with Inter-Miami, is set to make his debut some time in the fall.