In his first year at Paris Saint-Germain, it seems Lionel Messi has had more of an impact off the pitch than on it.
Messi, 35, left Barcelona last summer as the club were unable to renew his contract due to his then-crippling financial woes.
PSG then pounced on the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and sent shockwaves through the footballing world.
However, Messi’s first season in Paris didn’t quite go according to plan.
Despite the legendary Argentinean winning a medal as Ligue 1 winner, PSG failed to win the Champions League and Messi only managed 11 goals in all competitions.
Messi was widely criticized for struggling to adjust to life in France but that didn’t stop sponsors and fans lining PSG’s pockets as a result of his arrival.
According to sensational reports at Marca, Messi’s arrival earned PSG a whopping £610m.
Messi’s transfer alone secured up to TEN new sponsors.
And sponsorship fees rose from around £2.6m to £6.9m.
Some of the sponsors are well-known brands such as Dior, Gorillas, Crypto.com, PlayBetR, GOAT, Snart Good Thins, Volt, Big Cola, Sports Water and Autohero, the report said.
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Messi shirts were also in high demand as the football icon accounted for 60 percent of PSG sales.
PSG have sold over a million shirts priced between £79 and £140 EACH.
Marc Armstrong, PSG’s commercial director, stated that the club “cannot meet all the demand for Messi kits”.
He said: “Demand has increased between 30 and 40 per cent and all that can slow it down is supply.
“When one of these transfers happens, people think it’s paid for by selling shirts, and it’s not quite like that.
“You can’t produce a lot of extra shirts.
“The deal is made to cover a minimum, which is very important, but you can’t meet all the demand for Messi kits.”
Messi’s influence extends well beyond finance.
The attacker played a major role on PSG’s social media platforms, which exploded with new followers.
PSG has generated more than 15 million followers across all platforms, bringing the total to 150 million.
According to Business Director Armstrong, PSG has gained 1.4 million followers a week and also broke the 10 million mark on TikTok.
Messi’s form returning this season could bring more money for the French champions.
He has registered six goals and eight assists in all competitions this season, although the season doesn’t start until August.
Messi’s form could also play a role in finally delivering a record-breaking first Champions League trophy to the Parc des Princes.