NEW DELHI: Lionel Messi‘s annualized compensation from his Major League Soccer (MLS) contract with Inter Miami is reported to be just over $20.4 million, making him the highest-paid player in the league by a significant margin.
This enormous salary makes Messi the highest-earning player in MLS, and his income exceeds the entire payroll of all but three other MLS teams. To put it into perspective, he earns more than twice the combined salaries of all the players on the Orlando City roster.
Messi’s MLS deal runs through the 2025 season and includes his base salary of $12 million, along with a total guaranteed compensation of $20,446,667, which encompasses any marketing bonuses and agent’s fees but does not factor in additional agreements with the team or performance-based bonuses.
In the MLS, Messi‘s compensation surpasses all other players, with Toronto’s Lorenzo Insigne coming second at $15.4 million, Chicago’s Xherdan Shaqiri at $8,153,000, and the LA Galaxy’s Javier Hernández at $7,443,750.
Inter Miami tops the league with a payroll of $39.4 million in terms of total guaranteed compensation. Toronto ($32.3 million), the LA Galaxy ($25 million) and LAFC ($20.8 million) follow closely behind.
Messi’s contribution to Miami’s payroll is substantial, as he accounts for 4% of MLS’s total compensation, which stands at $501.9 million.
The football legend has made three league starts and five appearances for Miami, accumulating 283 minutes of playing time and scoring one goal. In addition to his individual success, he played a pivotal role in helping Inter Miami win the inaugural Leagues Cup, scoring a total of 10 goals in seven games.
Josef Martínez, Inter Miami’s second-highest-compensated player, earns $4,391,667.
Interestingly, two of Messi’s former Barcelona teammates who joined him in Miami, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, earn considerably less, with Busquets having a $1.5 million salary and $1,775,000 in guaranteed compensation, while Alba earns $1 million in salary and $1.25 million in guaranteed compensation.
The report also highlights the salaries of other notable mid-summer acquisitions in MLS, providing insight into the significant investments being made to bring top talent to the league.
(With AP inputs)

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