Lionel Messi has had his staggering salary at Inter Miami published by the MLS Players Association, highlighting just how much he is earning in the United States.
Since joining Inter Miami in July, Lionel Messi has lit up North America with his dazzling performances in MLS and the Leagues Cup, which he helped the Florida-based side win with 10 goals and an assist in just seven appearances.
Inter Miami have been handsomely repaying his performances, too, making him comfortably the best-paid player in MLS. In fact, Messi earns more than the entire wage bill of 25 of the 29 teams in MLS.
Messi has torn MLS apart since joying Inter Miami (Image credit: Getty Images)
In new figures published by the MLS Players Association, Lionel Messi has a base salary of £9.8m and earns another £7m from guaranteed bonuses and signing on fees. In total, therefore, Inter Miami are paying him £16.8m per season – and that’s before any other sponsorship and commercial deals are factored in.
Part of the Argentine’s contract entitles him to a share of shirt sales in the league, MLS Season Pass subscriptions, and even the ability to buy a team at a discounted price once he retires.
Indeed, his £16.8m salary – £322,000-per-week – is heavily supplemented by other deals and contracts away from the club. Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas has previously stated that the 36-year-old earns between £41m and £49.5m a year due to additional commercial opportunities.
Insigne is the second-highest earner in MLS (Image credit: Getty Images)
Lionel Messi may sit comfortably first in the top-earners list, but Toronto FC’s Lorenzo Insigne is easily second. The Italian is paid £12.7m to play for the Canadian club, while Xherdan Shaqiri, now at Chicago Fire, picks up £6.7m each season.
Despite his staggering contract in the United States, reports suggested that Messi turned down an offer from Saudi Arabia worth in the region of $550m per season in the summer, opting instead to head to America as the Middle East never seemed a likely destination for him to finish his football career.
More Lionel Messi stories
A Barcelona advisor has explained why Lionel Messi chose Inter Miami over a return to Camp Nou in the summer.
Previously, Barcelona president Joan Laporta revealed that Messi had been ‘very close’ to moving back to the Catalan club.
What is it like to play with Messi? One former Barcelona team-mate gives some insight and says it is ‘impossible’ to pick just one moment.
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