Lionel Messi and Inter Miami midfielder account for whopping 70 percent of club's total wage bill as compensation details emerge

Real Salt Lake v Inter Miami CF
Real Salt Lake v Inter Miami CF (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Inter Miami stars Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets take up a staggering 70% of the club's total wage bill, according to the latest data released by the MLS Players Association. Their total wage bill makes it a new MLS record.

The MLS Players Association data reveals that Messi earns a guaranteed compensation of $20.45 million per year and is the highest-paid player in the MLS. Toronto attacker Lorenzo Insigne comes second to the Argentine superstar, earning a guaranteed compensation of $15.44m.

The Spanish midfielder and Messi's former Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets earns a reported figure of $8.77m. Messi and Busquets together earn a whopping $29.22 million, taking up 70% of Inter Miami's wage bill.

Messi's other former Barcelona teammates Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba earn an estimated figure of $1.5m each annually, ranking way lower than both Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets in the bill.

As per the aforementioned report, Inter Miami's total wage bill reportedly stands at around $41.7m, a figure more than double of every MLS team's wage bill, barring Toronto FC, Nashville SC, and Chicago Fire.

How much did Lionel Messi earn at Barcelona and Paris St-Germain?

Prior to joining Inter Miami in the summer of 2023, Lionel Messi was one of the highest-paid players in Europe, at Barcelona (2004-2021) and Paris St-Germain (2021-2023).

Messi left Barcelona as a free agent in August 2021. According to a report by Spanish outlet El Mundo, Leo's four-year contract with the Catalan club (renewed in 2017) was valued at €555 million.

The Argentine reportedly earned €138m per season at the time of leaving the club in 2021. He was reportedly the highest-paid athlete in the world during his time at Barca.

In 2021, La Pulga signed a reported €35 million per-season contract for two years until 2023 with Paris St-Germain, as per Sporting News. The Athletic reported that the Argentine received a hefty €25 million signing bonus.

As per Forbes, the 36-year-old also received a part of his image rights. His on-field commitments (including base salary, bonuses, image rights cut, sporting sponsorships, etc.) earned him a whopping €65 million annually. Out of this, he earned a base salary of €35 million, less than half of what he earned at Barcelona.

Lionel Messi currently earns a base salary of $12 million (€11 million) at Inter Miami, although his guaranteed on-field compensation goes up to around $20.45 (€18.86 million) million per season, as per the salary data from MLS Players Association.

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