The El Mundo newspaper gained access to the contract that Messi signed with the Catalan club in 2017.
Some saw its disclosure as an attempt to turn Barcelona’s fans against Messi, who last year had his request to leave the club denied but will be free to go at the end of this season.
Barcelona categorically denied any involvement in the leak and said it would take legal action against the newspaper “for any damage that may be caused as a result of this publication.”
The leak of Messi’s multimillion dollar contract has brought attention to the high amount of taxes football players pay in Spain, prompting the league to raise concerns about the departure of its top stars.
Details of Messi’s 555 million euro ($671 million) contract over four seasons were released by the El Mundo newspaper on Sunday, upsetting the club and instigating the promise of lawsuits.
The contract made headlines everywhere, and Spanish league president Javier Tebas took the opportunity on Monday to underline the high amount of taxes owed by Messi.
He noted that the Argentina great has to pay about 270 million euros ($326 million) in taxes for his contract, nearly half of its value.