Lionel Messi, the Argentine soccer superstar and World Cup champion, has stunned the world by signing with Inter Miami, the MLS club co-owned by David Beckham. Messi, who spent most of his career with Barcelona and two seasons with Paris Saint-Germain, has chosen to continue his legacy in the United States, where he will be one of the highest-paid athletes in history.
Messi’s contract and salary details with Inter Miami
According to various reports, Messi has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Inter Miami, with an option for the 2026 season. The deal will pay him between $50 million and $60 million per year, which means he could earn up to $150 million in cash alone over the course of his contract.
Additionally, Messi will reportedly receive a share of the revenue from MLS Pass subscriptions on Apple TV, as well as a profit-sharing agreement with Adidas, his longtime sponsor. He will also have a 35% stake in Inter Miami, which is valued at $600 million by Forbes, giving him an ownership interest worth $210 million.
Why Messi chose Inter Miami over other offers
Messi had several offers from other clubs around the world, including a lucrative proposal from a Saudi Arabian league that would have paid him $1 billion over four years. However, he rejected them all and decided to join Inter Miami for several reasons:
- He wanted to play in the MLS, a league that is growing in popularity and quality, and experience a different style of soccer and culture.
- He wanted to live in Miami, a city that has a large Hispanic community and a vibrant lifestyle, as well as being close to his native Argentina.
- He wanted to reunite with his former coach Gerardo Martino, who led him at Barcelona and Argentina, and who is now in charge of Inter Miami.
- He wanted to play alongside his former teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, who also joined Inter Miami this summer.
- He wanted to be part of Inter Miami’s ambitious project, which aims to become one of the best clubs in the Americas and compete for trophies at the continental and global level.
- When will Messi make his debut for Inter Miami?
Messi is expected to make his debut for Inter Miami on Friday, July 21, 2023, when the club hosts Cruz Azul in a Leagues Cup match at DRV PNK Stadium. He will likely come off the bench in the second half and play for about 30 minutes.
- How much did Messi earn at Barcelona and PSG?
Messi earned around $900 million in salary and $400 million in endorsements during his 16 years at Barcelona, where he won 34 trophies and became the club’s all-time leading scorer. He earned around $75 million in salary and $35 million in endorsements during his two seasons at PSG, where he won three trophies and helped the club reach its first Champions League final.
- How does Messi’s salary compare to other athletes?
Messi’s salary of $50-$60 million per year makes him one of the highest-paid athletes in the world, surpassing the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo ($70 million), LeBron James ($39.2 million), Patrick Mahomes ($45 million), and Roger Federer ($30 million). However, he still trails behind Conor McGregor ($180 million) and Dak Prescott ($66 million) in terms of annual earnings.