MLS salaries list and highest paid players salary by team in 2023

MLS salaries list and highest paid players salary by team in 2023

Argentine legend Lionel Messi is all set to join the MLS after signing a new contract with Inter Miami, check out who are the highest paid MLS players salaries in 2023 and how Messi will compare to them

Messi reportedly turned down various offers from former club Barcelona and the Saudi Professional League in order to join to Major League Soccer.

MLS salaries list and highest paid players salary by team 2023

Following Messi’s arrival, the Major League Soccer could potentially see a huge increase in viewership and interest in the league.

Messi set to join MLS

Despite heavy interest from his former club Barcelona and from the Saudi Pro League, Messi has chosen to join the MLS with Inter Miami. Messi refused a flat-out $400 million dollar offer from Saudi Arabia.

Although the MLS is the largest and premier football league in the US, it still has a long way to go as compared to other sports leagues in terms of all aspects like size, popularity, income, etc. Currently, the “big four” leagues in the U.S. are the NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA.


However, with Messi now set to join the MLS, football will definitely take a step forward in the US. Messi will join the likes of other A-list athletes like LeBron James, Patrick Mahomes, Connor McDavid, and Aaron Judge.

Highest-paid MLS players in 2023

Given below is list of the top 10 highest-paid MLS players for 2023:

Rank Player Club Base salary Guaranteed salary
1. Xherdan Shaqiri Chicago Fire $7.35 million $8.15 million
2. Lorenzo Insigne Toronto FC $7.5 million $7.5 million
3. Javier Hernandez Balcazar LA Galaxy $6 million $7.44 million
4. Federico Bernardeschi Toronto FC $3.13 million $6.30 million
5. Sebasitan Driussi Austin FC $3.8 million $6.02 million
6. Hector Herrera Houston Dynamo $4.75 million $5.25 million
7. Douglas Costa LA Galaxy $3 million $4.5 million
8. Luiz Araujo Atlanta United $3.6 million $4.48 million
9. Christian Benteke DC United $4.25 million $4.43 million
10. Josef Martinez Inter Miami $4 million $4.39 million

Lionel Messi Inter Miami contract details

As of now, the exact details of Messi’s new contract with Inter Miami are not out yet. Messi will however, face a significant decrease of earnings compared to his two seasons with Ligue 1 team Paris Saint-Germain.

Back with PSG, Messi signed a two-year deal 2021, which saw him earn $41 million annually, including bonuses. Aside from that, the contract included a $30 million signing bonus. He also earned a share of the profits from image rights and jersey sales, which set his annual salary to $75 million.

The MLS currently has a salary cap system, which limited the spending of a team to $5.21 million in 2023. This would mean that Messi will have to undergo a drastic pay cut result to play for Inter Miami. In comparison, Lionel Messi received a multi-year offer worth over $1 billion to play in the Saudi Professional League.


Reason behind Messi’s decision to sign with Inter Miami

Fans may wonder why Messi has decided to join the MLS when he had the opportunity to earn over a billion in Saudi Arabia. However, according to a report by The Athletic, Messi is is set to receive other non-MLS financial incentives if he joins the league.

These include a share of the revenue generated from new subscribers to MLS Season Pass. The MLS Season Pass is the league’s official streaming package on Apple TV+. Similarly, Messi will also earn a similar income with Adidas who are the official outfitter of the MLS. Adidas also reportedly gave Messi a cut of any increase in profits following his decision to join the MLS. Messi will undoubtedly feature among the top-10 players earning the highest salary in the MLS.

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