New York, May 17: Lionel Messi's annualised pay from his Major League Soccer contract with Inter Miami is just over USD 20.4 million in his first full season, exceeding the payrolls of all but three other teams in the league. Messi joined Inter Miami last summer and has a base salary of USD 10.4 million and annualised compensation of USD 20,446,667, the MLS Players Association said on Thursday in its first salary release of 2024. Lionel Messi’s Argentina To Play Warm-Up Matches Against Ecuador and Guatemala in USA Ahead of Copa America 2024.

Those figures cover what Messi receives from his MLS deal, which runs through the 2025 season, including any marketing bonus and agent's fees. They do not account for any additional agreements with the team or its affiliates, or for any performance bonuses. Messi, who turns 37 next month, has 10 goals this season, one shy of the MLS lead.

Miami leads the league with a a record USD 41.7 million payroll, double all but Toronto (USD 31.4 million) and Chicago (USD 25.1 million). Nashville's roster, at USD 21.4 million, also earns more than Messi.

Messi's teammates include midfielder Sergio Busquets (USD 8,774,996) and forward Luis Suárez and left back Jordi Alba (USD 1.5 million each). St Louis has the lowest payroll among the 29 teams at USD 12 million, just below Salt Lake and San Jose at USD 13.6 million each.

The LA Galaxy cut payroll from USD 23.5 million at the start of last year to USD 17.9 million and Atlanta from USD 21.3 million to USD 16.7 million. Toronto boosted payroll from a league-high USD 25.7 million at the opening of 2023 and Nashville increased from USD 14 million.

Toronto winger Lorenzo Insigne is second in compensation at USD 15.4 million, followed by Busquets, Chicago midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri at USD 8,153,000, Austin midfielder Sebastián Driussi at USD 6,722,500, Toronto winger Federico Bernardeschi at USD 6,295,381 and New York Red Bulls midfielder Emil Forsberg at USD 6,035,625.

Among this year's MLS newcomers are Chicago forward Hugo Cuypers (USD 3,528,044) and LAFC goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (USD 350,000). The average base salary of USD 513,075 for senior roster players, not including designated players who count only partly under a team's salary cap, was up 8.4 per cent from USD 473,292 at the start of last year. Total guaranteed compensation averaged USD 594,389.

The total compensation of all signed players was $519 million, up 12.8 per cent from USD 460 million at the start of last season and from USD 394 million at the beginning of 2022. Cristiano Ronaldo Overtakes Lionel Messi To Be Named Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athlete For Fourth Time.

Among US national team players, Nashville defender Walker Zimmerman had total compensation of USD 3,456,979, Dallas forward Jesús Ferreira USD 2,204,000, Seattle winger Jordan Morris USD 1,693,750, Colorado midfielder Djordje Mihailovic USD 1,675,000, Cincinnati defender Miles Robinson USD 1,578,580, Seattle midfielder Cristian Roldan USD 1.541,000 and Cincinnati right back DeAndre Yedlin USD 898,750.

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