In his first year at Paris Saint-Germain, it seems Lionel Messi was more impressive off the pitch than he was off it.
Messi, 35, left Barcelona last summer after the club was unable to extend his contract due to their then-current financial problems.
PSG then pounced on the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and sent shockwaves through the football world.
However, Messi’s first season in Paris didn’t quite go to plan.
Despite the legendary Argentine winning the Ligue 1 winner’s medal, PSG failed to win the Champions League and Messi managed just 11 goals in all competitions.
Messi has been widely criticized for struggling to adapt to life in France but his arrival has not stopped sponsors and fans lining PSG’s pockets as a result.
According to sensational reports at Marca, Messi’s arrival has made PSG an eye-watering £610 million.
Messi’s transfer alone is secured by up to ten new sponsors.
And sponsorship fees have risen 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 states.
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Messi shirts were also in high demand as the football icon accounted for 60 percent of PSG’s sales.
PSG sold over a million shirts, with prices ranging from £79 to £140 each.
PSG business director Mark Armstrong explained that the club “can’t meet all the demand for Messi shirts”.
He said: “Demand has grown between 30 per cent and 40 per cent and what could slow it down is supply.
“When one of these transfers happens, people think it’s paid for by selling shirts, and that’s not the case at all.
“You can’t make too many extra shirts.
“The deal is done to cover the minimum, which is very important, but you can’t satisfy all the demand for Messi shirts.”
Messi’s influence goes far beyond financial matters.
The attacker played a key role, exploding with new followers on PSG’s social media platforms.
PSG generated more than 15m followers across all platforms – reaching a total of 150m.
Business director Armstrong says PSG has gained 1.4m followers per week and has also broken the 10m-mark on TikTok.
Messi’s return to form this season could earn the French champions more money.
He has six goals and eight assists in all competitions this term, despite the season only starting in August.
Messi’s form could also play a role in finally delivering a record first Champions League trophy to the Parc des Princes.