One of the youngest players in FC Barcelona’s roster, Pedri Lopez, has agreed to a long-term contract extension that would make the teenager one of the two most valuable players in the sport’s history. The contract includes a staggering $1.16 billion release clause that earned Pedri, aged 18, the incredible title of one of the sport’s most valuable players. The contract extension will see Pedri stay with the team until 2026. The contract will be finalized in the next week.
After joining FC Barcelona from Las Palmas in August last year, Pedri has come to be a mainstay for the team. The young star has played 53 matches for the club in the last year, making him the player with the most on-field time for Barcelona for the past season.
2020 was a big year for the teenaged sportsman, and not only on the club. Pedri played for Spain at the Euro 2020, helping them reach the semifinals, as well as at the Olympics where his team took home the silver medal.
Pedri is now tied with Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema for the largest release clause in soccer’s history, surpassing even that of Lionel Messi by over $300 million (Messi’s release was priced at $837 million).
FC Barcelona has become infamous for its whopping release clauses. The club is known to use the contract agreement to retain better control over the movement of its players, controlling to whom they sell their players and when. These enormous release amounts mean that other clubs can’t hope to match these amounts and are forced to negotiate with the La Liga club should they wish to buy a player from the Barcelona roster.
The strategic use of contracts has meant that even the less sought-after players on the team have been given incredible release clauses than what many believe is deserved.