Incredible stat shows Messi paid more than 25 MLS teams' entire rosters

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • Updated: 16 May 2024 17:24 CDT
  • 3 min read
Lionel Messi, Inter Miami, money
© ProShots

Lionel Messi's Inter Miami salary has been revealed.

It's a tradition that may seem strange to Europeans, where secrecy regarding transfers and player salaries is the norm, but Major League Soccer, or rather the MLS Players Association, reveals all the financial details of player contracts twice a year.

Article continues under the video

The first iteration of the 2023 MLS Salary Guide features the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner.

David Beckham's Fort Lauderdale-based franchise has enjoyed stunning success in terms of marketing and - exclusively when Messi has been fit - on-pitch performances, and the Argentine is being handsomely rewarded for his transformation of the side and MLS as a whole.

READ: 'World class Bellingham can become as good as Messi'

While it was already revealed when he signed that MLS's main sponsors, adidas and Apple TV, had done their part in luring the World Cup winner stateside with profit-sharing, Messi's exact salary has now been laid bare - and it's quite shocking.

Lionel Messi
© ProShots - Lionel Messi

How much does Messi earn at Inter Miami?

On the face of it, a base yearly salary of $12 million (€11.4m) and a guaranteed compensation of $20.4m (€19.3m) don't seem like that much for arguably the greatest player in the history of football given that Saudi side Al-Hilal were ready to offer him hundreds of millions.

However, in the context of MLS, it is an eyebrow-raising amount of money. Unsurprisingly, the 36-year-old is the best-paid player in league history. More shockingly, Inter Miami pay Messi alone more money than 25 (yes, twenty-five) of the league's 29 teams spend on their entire roster.

READ: "I wouldn't play anywhere for money!" Hazard on rejected MLS & Saudi moves

Only the squads of Toronto FC, Chicago Fire and Nashville SC are paid more than the Argentine.

In terms of other players, only Toronto's Lorenzo Insigne comes close to Messi with a guaranteed compensation of $15.4m (€14.6m).

Top 5 earners in MLS

PlayerTeamBase SalaryGuaranteed Compensation
Lionel MessiInter Miami$12m$20.5m
Lorenzo InsigneToronto FC$7.5m$15.4m
Sergio BusquetsInter Miami$8.5m$8.8m
Xherdan ShaqiriChicago Fire$7.4m$8.2m
Sebastian DriussiAustin FC$4.5m$6.7m

Read more about: MLS, Inter Miami, Lionel Messi

Don’t miss the next big transfer!

Get the latest transfer insights and analyses directly in your mailbox.