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Lionel Messi

How much does Lionel Messi earn at Inter Miami?

Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi is one of the highest-paid footballers in the world and the figures he commands are astounding when put into context. 

The Argentine maestro’s first full season in Major League Soccer (MLS) came with a hefty price tag, with his annual compensation exceeding the payrolls of all but four teams, according to the Guardian.

According to the MLS Players Association’s first salary release of 2024, Messi’s guaranteed income is a staggering $20.4 million. 

This includes his $10.4m base salary, marketing bonuses and agent fees tied to his MLS contract which runs until December 2025. 

This figure doesn’t account for potential additional deals with the team or endorsements, which Forbes estimates at $70m for Messi in the last year alone.

The 36-year-old attacker is top of the MLS pay pyramid. Teammates Sergio Busquets ($8.8m), Luis Suarez, and Jordi Alba ($1.5m each) are trailing. 

Messi’s impact has been worth the outlay. He is three goals shy of MLS top scorer Real Salt Lake’s Cristian Arango with ten goals this season.

The former Barcelona star also tops the assist chart with 13. He is a major reason why the Miami-based club has netted the most goals in the top flight this season (36).

Miami lead the league in payroll at $41.7m, a figure double that of every club bar Toronto ($31.4m) and Chicago Fire ($25.1m).

The salary disparity across the league is stark. St Louis have the lowest payroll at $12m, narrowly behind Salt Lake and San Jose (both $13.6m).

LA Galaxy and Atlanta United have slashed their payrolls significantly compared to last year.

Toronto’s Lorenzo Insigne follows Messi with a $15.4m salary. Busquets, Xherdan Shaqiri, Sebastian Driussi, Federico Bernardeschi and Emil Forsberg are other top earners.

Messi’s arrival has shaken up the financial landscape of MLS. His price tag is eye-watering, but his presence is a clear sign of the league’s growing stature and ambitions to attract the biggest names in world football.

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