Football and crypto have become unlikely bedfellows all over the world, with club tokens now commonplace for top-level, second-tier and even grassroots teams everywhere. But a true litmus test for these fledgling coins is about to emerge as arguably one of the greatest players ever to play the game inches closer to the biggest transfer of the decade.
In a press conference that shook the world of sport, Lionel Messi, the Argentinian forward who began his career at FC Barcelona and has played with the team ever since, this weekend burst into tears as he revealed he would be leaving.
Barca had hoped to re-sign Messi, whose contract has expired, this summer. Messi had made his intention to stay with his boyhood club clear, and had even been prepared to take a wage cut in order to stay. But the club’s precarious financial circumstances mean that it will have to offload players and slash its wage bill if it is to comply with La Liga (Spain’s top-flight football league)’s financial requirements.
Few teams in world football could hope to afford to meet Messi’s wage demands – few, that is, besides Europe’s three oil tycoon-backed megaclubs: France’s Paris Saint-Germain and England’s Chelsea and Manchester City. The latter of the English duo has already ruled out a move for Messi. And with most pundits agreeing a Chelsea move is also unlikely, the way appears to be clear for PSG to make their move.
The Spanish footballing journalist Guillem Balague, an authority on all things La Liga-related, has claimed that Messi has already agreed the terms of a contract with the French powerhouse, the BBC reported.
Media outlets are now reporting that Messi is traveling to France, and that he is happy with the two-year deal he has been offered.
The BBC noted that Messi “and his family were pictured at Barcelona's El Prat airport on Tuesday afternoon after news of the deal emerged.”
But there is a crypto bent to all the football and fiat that will surround a PSG move for the world’s most famous player: PSG’s fan token is booming.
As Messi gets closer to signing on the dotted line in Paris, the PSG fan token is edging close to an all-time high.
At 14:07 UTC, PSG trades at almost USD 58, nearing its all-time high of USD 58.79 (per Coingecko), hit in April. The price is up by 11% in a day and 150% in a week.
PSG price chart:
By contrast, Barcelona’s own BAR fan token has experienced much more modest growth, and is trading at just above USD 26, and is up by 3% in a day.
Regardless, a closer look at the numbers shows that when news of Messi’s departure was confirmed by Barcelona, the token did indeed dip.
The summer has been full of dire financial news for the Catalan footballing giants – and this has been reflected in the token’s price. BAR has dropped 64% from its all-time high of USD 72.55, reached in April.
Quite what this all means for the world of crypto, fan tokens and the Socios platform that masterminded the fan tokens for both clubs is still up in the air.
But if clubs’ fortunes both on and off the pitch become correlated with token performance, traders might well need to start paying closer attention to sport-related news. And club boards, too, may soon start paying closer attention to the kind of trading charts that were once of sole interest to crypto investors. _ Learn more: - Fan Tokens Booming at Japanese Pro Football Clubs - China Hits out at Senators Who Asked for an Olympic Block on Digital Yuan
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