How much did messi get paid to go to miami ? Lionel Messi has finalised his deal to join Major League Soccer, and after years of planning, Inter Miami has landed a global icon.
Messi’s contract became official on Saturday, a little more than five weeks after he declared he would be joining Inter Miami. The team will introduce him on Sunday at its stadium in Fort Lauderdale, and the first home match of the Messi era could be as early as Friday in a Leagues Cup match against Cruz Azul.
Money and profile, sure, but what does Lionel Messi bring to Miami on the pitch?
A news conference is scheduled for Monday, and his first training session with his new club is expected on Tuesday. The club previously announced Messi’s deal will be for two and a half seasons and that they will pay him between $50m (£38m) and $60m annually – putting the total contract value between $125m and $150m in cash alone.
“BIENVENIDO 10,” the club posted on Twitter, while the MLS commissioner, Don Garber, said in a statement: “We are overjoyed that the greatest player in the world chose Inter Miami CF and Major League Soccer, and his decision is a testament to the momentum and energy behind our League and our sport in North America. We have no doubt that Lionel will show the world that MLS can be a League of Choice for the best players in the game.”
Messi arrived in south Florida on Tuesday after a holiday, then started the process of physicals and paperwork on Wednesday and the deal was finalised on Saturday afternoon. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is making his Miami move after two years with Paris Saint-Germain.
“I’m very excited to start this next step in my career with Inter Miami and in the United States,” Messi said in a statement distributed by the club. “This is a fantastic opportunity and together we will continue to build this beautiful project. The idea is to work together to achieve the objectives we set, and I’m very eager to start helping here in my new home.”
How much Messi will earn in Inter Miami?
While Messi could have earned a staggering $440 million at Al-Hilal, he chose familiarity over a higher paycheck. With a property in Miami and regular visits from his family, Messi opted for a move to the Magic City.
Although life at Inter Miami might not be as luxurious as his South Florida vacations (the club currently has the lowest average attendance in MLS, with their PNK Stadium holding a mere 19,100 people), Messi will reportedly earn a whopping $54 million (£43 million) in salary.
This figure comfortably positions him as the highest-paid player in MLS, far surpassing the previous record held by Xherdan Shaqiri of the Chicago Fire, who earned $8,153,000.
Questions have arisen about how Inter Miami managed to finance a deal for the greatest footballer of all time, considering MLS’s strict salary caps. The club has already filled their three “Designated Player” (DP) spots, which allow salaries to exceed the league’s cap.
Gregore ($725,000 base salary), Rodolfo Pizarro ($3,050,000), and Leonardo Campana ($550,000) occupy Inter Miami’s DP slots for 2023. To accommodate Messi, the club can move one of these players off the DP designation to a regular roster spot. Most likely, the lowest earner of the three, Gregore, will make way for Messi.
Leo will be the best paid player in the MLS
Messi’s reported salary of $54 million far surpasses the current highest-earner at the club, Josef Martinez, who earns a base salary of $4,000,000 for 2023. Martinez, who has scored the 11th-most goals in MLS history, made history by becoming the first player to win All-Star, League, and MLS Cup MVP honors in the same season (2017 with Atlanta United).
Only two current players in MLS earn a base salary exceeding $1,000,000: Martinez and the aforementioned Rodolfo Pizarro, a creative midfielder with 37 caps for Mexico. Messi’s astronomical earnings set a new benchmark for player salaries in the league, solidifying his status as a true footballing icon.
Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami Salary Details Revealed By MLS Franchise Owner
The co-owner of MLS franchise Inter Miami, Jorge Mas, has revealed how much Lionel Messi will be paid by his new team to Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Messi decided to join Inter Miami last month when his Paris Saint-Germain contract was set to expire, in turn rejecting approaches from former club FC Barcelona and Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia.
The Argentine is still yet to make his US debut after finishing the European season, playing a friendly for his World Cup-winning national team where he scored a fastest career goal against Australia, and featuring in a pair of testimonials at the stadiums of Newell’s Old Boys and Boca Juniors.
In the meantime, though, Jorge Mas has shed some light on how Messi was acquired and what he will take home from his new ground the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
Billionaire Mas, who co-owns The Herons with David Beckham and is the chairman and largest shareholder of Miami-based construction and engineering company MasTecMTZ +5.1%, revealed that Messi’s contract will pay him “between $50 and $60 million per year”.
“I spent three years on it, a year and a half very intensely,” Mas explained, as per chasing Messi.
“There were many conversations with [Messi’s father and agent] Jorge. David [Beckham] talked to Leo, only about football issues, because he was a player.
“I saw it done at the end of May. I didn’t want him to feel under pressure. We spoke in Barcelona, Miami, Rosario, Doha… I spent the whole World Cup in Qatar, watching Argentina.
Messi Career Earnings to Reach $1.6B With Miami MLS Deal
Lionel Messi is coming to MLS. He’s signing with Inter Miami, and the agreement is worth up to $150 million over two-and-a-half years before additional compensation from MLS partners Adidas and Apple—plenty of scratch for grocery runs to Publix.
The Miami pact is the latest in a career of blockbuster paydays on and off the field. By the end of 2025, Messi’s career earnings will reach an estimated $1.6 billion, including playing salaries, bonuses and endorsements. His tally ranks among the five highest in the history of sports.
Messi’s Miami deal is worth between $50 million and $60 million per year from his salary, signing bonus and equity in the team. It is on par with what the top earners in the NBA and NFL make in salary. Two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic’s current deal is worth $55 million a year on average, while 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson is at $52 million.
Yet, the structure is unique with the team equity component, a compensation lever not available to players in other leagues. Messi is expected to exercise his ownership stake in the franchise after he is done playing with Inter Miami. There is no subsidy from MLS as part of the agreement. There is an option for 2026 for Messi to stay in MLS when the U.S., Mexico and Canada will host the World Cup.
“I think it is the one major seminal moment in the sport in the history of this country,” Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas said last month in a call with a small group of reporters. “I think there will always be a before and an after Messi when we talk about the sport in the United States.”
Messi earned more than $100 million a year in playing salary and bonuses while at Barcelona. His pre-tax salary at Paris Saint-Germain the past two seasons was roughly $70 million annually, including bonuses. Messi definitely left money on the table to come to MLS, as he could have earned a reported $400 million a year to play in the Saudi Professional League.
Mas insists Messi is not just here for the paycheck. “Look at the competitive nature of Lionel Messi,” Mas said. “He’s a killer, and Lionel Messi has come to this country to win, and a significant portion of our conversations have been on the sporting side.”
Messi was earning an estimated $60 million a year from his endorsement partners before his arrival in the U.S. He will have the ability to add to that tally through individual revenue-sharing deals with the league’s broadcast (Apple) and apparel (Adidas) partners. MLS owners are still in the dark on the details around those pacts. Messi already has a lifetime partnership with Adidas, and last month, Apple announced a four-part Messi documentary series was in the works.
If Messi can raise the global profile, it will directly benefit his own bank account, thanks to the revenue-sharing deals and team equity component in his contract. Sportico valued Inter Miami at $585 million last year, but it could be a $1 billion club once its new stadium, Miami Freedom Park, opens in 2025.
The Argentine has more than a dozen ongoing brand endorsements, with Adidas the most lucrative. Other partners include Budweiser, Mastercard, Pepsi, Saudi Arabia tourism and Socios. The brands benefit from Messi’s 480 million Instagram followers, second only to longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo at 597 million. Inter Miami’s Instagram account has had an 800% surge since news broke of his agreement. The club’s following is now the fifth biggest in U.S. sports behind a quartet of NBA teams.
The sponsorship income for the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner represents roughly one-third of Messi’s total earnings up til this point in his career.
“Having him say Major League Soccer is his league of choice, not Saudi Arabia, not FC Barcelona, it adds just a level of excitement and credibility and just enormous enthusiasm behind our league,” MLS commissioner Don Garber told Bloomberg TV on Thursday.
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