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Lionel Messi’s $20.4M Salary at Inter Miami Surpasses Most MLS Team Payrolls

Lionel Messi’s $20.4m Inter Miami

Lionel Messi’s annualized pay from his MLS contract with Inter Miami is just over $20.4 million for his first full season, surpassing the payrolls of all but four teams in the league.

Messi, who joined Inter Miami last summer, has a base salary of $10.4 million and annualized compensation of $20,446,667, as reported by the MLS Players Association in its first salary release of 2024. These figures reflect Messi’s earnings from his MLS contract, including any marketing bonuses and agent’s fees, but exclude any additional agreements with the team or its affiliates and any performance bonuses. Forbes estimated Messi’s endorsement earnings at $70 million over the past year.

Messi’s teammates include Sergio Busquets ($8.8 million) and Jordi Alba ($1.5 million). Luis Suárez is also reportedly part of the team.

At almost 37, Messi has scored 10 goals this season, just one shy of the MLS lead. Miami tops the league with a $41.7 million payroll, double that of all but Toronto ($31.4 million) and Chicago Fire ($25.1 million). Nashville’s roster, at $21.4 million, also earns more than Messi. St. Louis has the lowest payroll among the 29 teams at $12 million, followed by Salt Lake and San Jose at $13.6 million each.

The LA Galaxy reduced their payroll from $23.5 million at the start of last year to $17.9 million, and Atlanta from $21.3 million to $16.7 million. Toronto boosted their payroll from a league-high $25.7 million at the beginning of 2023, while Nashville increased theirs from $14 million.

Toronto winger Lorenzo Insigne is second in compensation at $15.4 million, followed by Busquets, Chicago midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri ($8.2 million), Austin midfielder Sebastián Driussi ($6.7 million), Toronto winger Federico Bernardeschi ($6.3 million), and New York Red Bulls midfielder Emil Forsberg ($6 million).

The average base salary for senior roster players, excluding designated players who count only partly under a team’s salary cap, rose 8.4% to $513,075 from $473,292 at the start of last year. Total guaranteed compensation averaged $594,389.

Total compensation for all signed players reached $519 million, up 12.8% from $460 million at the start of last season and from $394 million at the beginning of 2022.

Among US national team players, Nashville defender Walker Zimmerman had total compensation of $3.5 million, Dallas forward Jesús Ferreira $2.2 million, Seattle winger Jordan Morris $1.7 million, Colorado midfielder Djordje Mihailovic $1.7 million, Cincinnati defender Miles Robinson $1.6 million, Seattle midfielder Cristian Roldan $1.5 million, and Cincinnati right-back DeAndre Yedlin $898,750.

Credit: Guardian Sport

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