Lionel Messi's huge salary revealed as he joins struggling club owned by David Beckham

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The undisputed GOAT of football has left Paris Saint-Germain after two gloomy seasons to join a much smaller club, which is owned by David Beckham.

Major League Soccer (MLS), the premier professional soccer league in the United States and Canada, has undergone significant transformations in recent years. Once considered a retirement destination for aging stars, MLS has emerged as a financially lucrative and competitive league that attracts top-tier talent from around the world.

While MLS has made significant strides in financial growth, it continues to grapple with a perception of lower competitiveness compared to established European leagues. As a result, some players still view MLS as a secondary option or a stepping stone in their careers rather than a destination where they can achieve peak competitiveness.

Lionel Messi's huge salary revealed as he joins struggling club owned by David Beckham Ian McNicol

With the recent announcement of Lionel Messi's move to David Beckham's Inter Miami, the league has once again captured the attention of the global football community. This groundbreaking move marks a significant shift in Messi's career and presents exciting opportunities for both the player and the league.

Inside Messi's lucrative Miami contract

Exact figures for Messi's contract with Inter Miami have been subject to speculation due to MLS rules on salary caps and player rosters. According to reports from the Miami Herald, Messi's deal is expected to be valued between £100 million and £120 million in total, making him one of the highest-paid footballers in the world. While this amount of money may seem astronomical, it pales in comparison to the contract Cristiano Ronaldo signed with Al-Nassr in the Middle East.

Ronaldo's contract is reportedly worth £173 million per year, three times more than Messi's contract, reports Givemesport. This amounts to approximately £3.3 million per week. If Ronaldo fulfills his contract with Al-Nassr, he stands to earn an additional £1.2 billion, solidifying his status as one of the highest-earning athletes in history.

Lionel Messi's huge salary revealed as he joins struggling club owned by David Beckham David Ramos - FIFA

As reported by Goal, Messi's choice to join MLS was influenced by strategic partnerships with Apple and his long-term sponsor Adidas. Adidas reportedly proposed a profit-sharing agreement, allowing Messi to receive a percentage of any increase in profits resulting from his involvement in MLS. Additionally, MLS and Apple explored the possibility of offering Messi a share of the revenue generated by new subscribers to the MLS Season Pass, streamed on Apple TV+.

Another Beckham legacy

While Messi's base salary at Inter Miami is significantly lower than the offer he received from Saudi Arabia, his contract includes several perks. He may be granted a purchase option for an MLS club upon retirement, similar to the arrangement David Beckham.

The former England international has been instrumental in shaping the trajectory of Inter Miami, the MLS franchise he co-owns. In July 2007, Beckham signed a five-year deal with the LA Galaxy, becoming the biggest player to move to North American shores since Pele in the NASL.

Beckham's association with Miami dates back to 2014 when he exercised his option to purchase an MLS expansion team for a discounted $25 million as part of his original player contract with the LA Galaxy, reports Fox News. Beckham is joined by two local Miami entrepreneurs, Jorge Mas and his brother Jose Mas, as majority owners. The Mas brothers are the sons of billionaire Jorge Mas Canosa who founded Miami-based construction company MasTec. Jorge Mas is also the president of Spanish club Real Zaragoza, according to ESPN.

Lionel Messi's huge salary revealed as he joins struggling club owned by David Beckham Stephane Cardinale-Corbis

After retiring from professional football in 2013, Beckham set his sights on building a successful team in Miami. March 2020 marked a significant milestone for Beckham and Inter Miami as the club played its first official MLS match.

Poignant reason why Messi couldn't join Barcelona

Despite being offered a staggering £300 million per year to join Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia, Messi made the unconventional decision to join Inter Miami and MLS. In an interview with Diario Sport and Mundo Deportivo, Messi explained his motivation:

'I've taken the decision that I am going to Miami... It's true that I had offers from another European team, but I didn't even think about it because in Europe, my idea was only to go to Barcelona. After winning the World Cup and not being able to go to Barca, it's time to go to MLS to live football in a different way and enjoy my day-to-day life more.'

By completing a free transfer to Inter Miami, Messi's career will extend until at least 2025. His contract will commence on June 30, immediately following his departure from Paris Saint-Germain. The two-and-a-half-year deal aligns with the structure of the MLS season, which runs through the summer months. It also includes an option to extend for an additional 12 months, enabling Messi to potentially participate in the 2026 World Cup, set to be hosted across the USA, Canada, and Mexico.

Inter Miami, however, are still struggling in the MLS and are stuck at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. The latest poor result of the club was a 3-1 defeat to the New England Revolution.

Read more:

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© Sebastian Frej

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