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July 10, 2023
By: Kirk Jackson
Lionel Messi is with Major League Soccer.
One of the biggest stories in the sports world, Messi signed 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.
Messi opted to move to MLS this summer rather than return to Barcelona or join other super stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante in Saudi Arabia.
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.
Messi’s tally ranks among the five highest in the history of sports. When thinking of these high marks, consider guys like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Messi is in that category along with his contemporary Ronaldo.
As of match played 3 June 2023.
|Appearances and goals by club, season and competition|
|Barcelona C||2003–04||Tercera División||10||5||—||—||—||10||5|
|Barcelona B||2003–04||Segunda División B||5||0||—||—||—||5||0|
|2004–05||Segunda División B||17||6||—||—||—||17||6|
|Paris Saint-Germain||2021–22||Ligue 1||26||6||1||0||7||5||—||34||11|
List of Accomplishments:
The list of accolades, accomplishments, overall goatness is unprecedented. It’s obvious as to why Inter Miami, MLS, any team or league would covet one of sport’s greatest athletes to ever grace competition.
The acquisition of such, only increases the value and prestige of the organization or company.
What’s Messi’s motivation to taking this route, traveling to the United States to play professionally?
For a man, who achieved the highest feats, amidst the greatest levels of competition internationally, icing the cake so to speak, leading Argentina to victory, capturing the World Cup last year, what else is there for Messi to do?… but to earn money?
Messi’s Miami deal is worth between $50 million and $60 million per year from his salary, signing bonus and equity in the team.
He 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.
Some may argue money isn’t the motivating factor that swayed Messi to Miami over some of the other potentially lucrative options.
The Argentine suited offers from other clubs, other leagues, and potentially could have earned a reported $400 million a year to play in the Saudi Professional League.
But the move to Miami is the planting of the seed.
If Messi can continue raise and improve upon his universal profile, starting with the United States, it may benefit his bank account, due to the revenue-sharing deals and team equity component in his contract.
Credit to Sportico, they valued Inter Miami at $585 million last year, but the value may increase to $1 billion once its new stadium, Miami Freedom Park, opens in 2025.
Messi also has more than a dozen ongoing brand endorsements, with Adidas the most lucrative. Other partners include Budweiser, Mastercard, Pepsi, Saudi Arabia tourism and Socios. He’s likely to attract more endorsements as he continues his career in the states.
Not exactly sure what the end game is, but the future looks bright for the living legend and those associated with him.