Daniel Parejo, Antoine Griezmann are posing for a picture: La Liga Santander - FC Barcelona v Villarreal


© Reuters/ALBERT GEA
La Liga Santander – FC Barcelona v Villarreal

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Lionel Messi was back in scoring business for Barcelona on Sunday, leading them to a resounding 4-0 win at home against Villarreal in a near-perfect La Liga opener for the Catalans under new coach Ronald Koeman.



a group of people playing football on a field: La Liga Santander - FC Barcelona v Villarreal


© Reuters/ALBERT GEA
La Liga Santander – FC Barcelona v Villarreal

Teenage forward Ansu Fati was in inspirational form for Barca, combining with Jordi Alba to side-foot home first time into the net in the 15th minute and then striking again four minutes later with another ice-cool finish.

Fati, the 17-year-old in his second season in Barca’s first team after a stunning rise last year from the club’s youth set-up, then won the penalty which captain Messi dispatched to score the third in the 35th.

Villarreal defender Pau Torres scored an own goal right at the end of the first

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The measly profit is partly because the club is owned by its 142,000 members, which means that it reinvests all proceeds into the playing squad. As the club’s income has increased, so have player salaries. The 44% revenue jump in revenue between 2017 and 2019 was matched by a commensurate increase in player wages.

The single biggest sales boost came from a new sponsorship agreement with Nike Inc., which started in 2018. It was reported to be worth at least 155 million euros a season, although it has ended up being quite a bit less after Barca reclaimed some marketing rights. That deal gave Messi the chance to snag a pay rise of his own. Bumper contracts followed for other players such as striker Luis Suarez, midfielder Frenkie de Jong and French star Antoine Griezmann.

Barca’s total salary bill now exceeds 485 million euros a year, the highest of any

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