Lionel Messi earns $20.4 million under contract with Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami


NEW YORK (AP) — Lionel Messi’s annualized compensation from his Major League Soccer contract with Inter Miami is just over $20.4 million, the MLS Players Association said Wednesday.

Messi earns more than the entire payroll of all but three other MLS teams and twice as much as every player combined on Orlando City.

The 36-year-old star has a $12 million base salary and total guaranteed compensation of $20,446,667, the players association said in its 2023 salary update.

Those figures cover what Messi receives from his MLS deal, which runs through the 2025 season, including any marketing bonus and agent’s fees. They do not account for any additional agreements with the team or its affiliates, or for any performance bonuses.

He has the highest total compensation in MLS, followed by Toronto’s Lorenzo Insigne at $15.4 million, Chicago’s Xherdan Shaqiri at $8,153,000, the LA Galaxy’s Javier Hernández at $7,443,750, Toronto’s Federico Bernardeschi at $6,295,381 and Austin’s Sebastián Driussi at $6,022,500.

Miami tops the league with a $39.4 million payroll based on total guaranteed compensation, followed by Toronto at $32.3 million, the LA Galaxy at $25 million and LAFC at $20.8 million.

Messi earns more than twice the $9.6 million payroll of Orlando City, which has the lowest in the league. He accounts for 4% of MLS’s total compensation of $501.9 million.

Messi has made three league starts and five appearances for Miami, totaling 283 minutes and scoring one goal. He also helped the team win the inaugural Leagues Cup, scoring 10 goals in seven games.

Josef Martínez is Miami’s second-highest-compensated player at $4,391,667.

Two of Messi’s former Barcelona teammates who joined him in Miami are getting far less. Midfielder Sergio Busquets has a $1.5 million salary and $1,775,000 in guaranteed compensation, and defender Jordi Alba has a $1 million salary and $1.25 million in guaranteed compensation.

Among other notable MLS midsummer acquisitions were Minnesota forward Teemu Pukki ($3.2 million salary and $3.55 million in total compensation), Nashville forward Sam Surridge ($2.5 million, $2,907,639), Columbus forward Diego Rossi ($2,625,000, $2,677,000) and Atlanta midfielder Saba Lobzhanidze ($2,052,000, $2,150,750).


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