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An 18-year-old Barcelona sensation was just given a $1.2 billion price tag, making him soccer's most-valuable-ever player

Insider
Insider
 2021-10-15

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Pedri.
  • FC Barcelona midfielder Pedri has agreed a new deal at the club which includes a $1.16 billion release clause.
  • The clause is the joint biggest of its kind in soccer history.
  • The 18-year-old made 53 appearances for Barcelona last term, the most of any player at the club.

FC Barcelona's teenage midfielder Pedri has agreed a long-term contract extension at the club which includes an astonishing $1.16 billion release clause - the joint biggest ever in soccer history.

The 18-year-old, who was named in the team of the tournament at Euro 2020, has agreed a deal that will keep him at the Camp Nou until 2026.

His new contract will be officially signed on Friday, the club said.

Pedri joined Barcelona from Las Palmas in August 2020 and played 53 matches for the La Liga giant last season, more than any other player at the club.

As well as starring for Spain at Euro 2020 as Luis Enrique's side reached the semifinals, the teenager also helped his country win a silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics' soccer tournament.

His new release clause is the same as Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema's, and $323 million more than Lionel Messi's biggest ever at Barcelona.

Messi's final buy-out clause at the club before he left on a free to join Paris Saint Germain in the summer stood at $837 million.

Ludicrous release clauses protect Barcelona from losing its best players

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Barcelona is well-known for its stratospheric release clauses, which are generally put in place so that the club has more control over how much it sells its players for, and to whom.

With a huge release clause, opposition sides are unlikely to ever match it, meaning that Barcelona can more easily name a price, and negotiate on its own terms.

The club has increased its release clauses massively in the four years since Neymar's move from the Catalan city to Paris Saint-Germain, a transfer triggered by PSG activating the Brazilian's roughly $260 million release clause.

Barca didn't want to sell Neymar, and ever since that deal, the club has sought to prevent such a transfer happening again.

The strategy has lead to some of Barcelona's less-prominent players getting release clauses that are many times higher than they could ever possibly sell for.

For instance, the club's 32-year-old reserve goalkeeper, Neto, reportedly has a $232 million release clause, while journeyman striker Martin Braithwaite has a $348 million clause.

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