Lionel Messi MLS contract: How does Inter Miami star’s contract compare to other top players in the world?

Ever since Lionel Messi signed for Inter Miami in July 2023 there has been so much talk about his unique contract.

[ MORE: Inter Miami schedule for 2024 MLS season ]

Messi, 36, signed one of the most complex contracts in soccer history when he agreed a two-and-a-half-year deal to sign for Inter Miami in Major League Soccer.

The contract is said to include agreements with Apple, Major League Soccer and Adidas all tied in as Messi being in MLS will make the league a lot of money but the Argentina superstar will also do very well out of it.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Below are answers to some of the key questions surrounding Messi’s contract and how it stacks up with some of the biggest deals in world soccer for other superstars.

How much is Messi’s contract?

When you add his playing contract plus all of the other commercial deals linked in with his move to MLS and Inter Miami, it has been reported by multiple outlets, and first by Sportico, that the total value of Messi’s contract is up to $60 million annually.

That is due to profit sharing with two of MLS’ biggest partners, Apple and Adidas, while he also has an option to own a stake in Inter Miami once his contract ends. Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas confirmed that Messi will earn up to $60 million per year. The contract will end in late December 2025.

How much will Inter Miami pay Messi?

His official playing contract, via Major League Soccer who release player salaries each season, is a base salary of $12 million and a total guaranteed compensation of almost $20.5 million per season.

How much will Apple pay Messi?

According to Front Office Sports, Messi has a profit-sharing deal with Apple as part of their close partnership with MLS. They say that Messi will receive a revenue share of subscriptions to Apple TV+.

Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas said the following about the agreement with Apple being part of Messi’s contract: “The Apple contract was very important to close the deal.”

Apple TV broadcasts all MLS games globally and Messi’s arrival will increase the amount of people watching MLS around the world and should, in theory, increase profits dramatically. Messi will get a slice of those increased profits.

Who is the highest paid soccer player?

The usual crew are at the top of this list with Messi followed closely by Kylian Mbappe at PSG (his contract runs out this summer and Real Madrid, or even PSG, are likely to pay him even more), while Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr are being paid huge sums of money in Saudi Arabia.

Below is a look at the top 10 best-paid soccer players on the planet in 2023 according to Forbes:

1. Cristiano Ronaldo = $200 million on-field + $60 million off-field – $260 million total
2. Lionel Messi = $65 million on-field + $70 million off-field – $135 million
3. Neymar Jr = $80 million on-field + $32 million off-field – $112 million
4. Kylian Mbappe = $90 million on-field + $20 million off-field – $110 million
5. Karim Benzema = $100 million on-field + $6 million off-field – $106 million
6. Erling Haaland = $48 million on-field + $12 million off-field – $58 million
7. Mohamed Salah = $35 million on-field + $18 million off-field – $53 million
8. Sadio Mane = $48 million on-field + $4 million off-field – $52 million
9. Kevin de Bruyne = $35 million on-field + $4 million off-field – $39 million
10. Harry Kane = $26 million on-field + $10 million off-field – $36 million


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