How much has Lionel Messi’s income skyrocketed from early Barcelona days to Inter Miami MLS?

Everyone is aware of the fact that Lionel Messi signed his first contract with Barcelona on a paper napkin – talking about humble beginnings. Messi may be the most iconic soccer player today, but he didn’t start out as the bright, shiny star we’re all familiar with; he obviously didn’t start out with anything except his talents, something Barcelona took a chance on.

The chance paid off – Barcelona got themselves a future eight-time Ballon d’Or and a World Cup winner. Let’s look at Lionel Messi’s journey from his time as a Barcelona academy player to a worldwide star that now plies his trade at Inter Miami in the MLS.

Lionel Messi’s modest beginnings at Barcelona

While many people are born with undeniable traits that play a role in their lives as they grow up, many life coaches believe that stars are not made but born – such is the case of Lionel Messi. Barcelona saw a young boy from Argentina with a dream to make his soccer skills known to the world, and boy, did they take it! The Catalan giants quickly snapped Lionel Messi up in 2000 to bring the young Argentine to the famous La Masia, the club’s academy.

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According to Apex Football, the contract Messi signed on a paper napkin was only worth €600 monthly, taking his gross annual salary to a little over £6,000 per year. A player of Messi’s obvious talents could only earn that little for a short time as he finally got his professional contract, which was worth a whopping €6 million a year. Messi was eased into his first team, thanks to Ronaldinho’s love for the youngster, and it was only a matter of time before he got his big break.

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Time passed, and Messi became a star, the best player Barcelona’s ever seen, and eventually the club captain. Sadly, during his time at the club, everyone thought he would end his playing career, but it ended abruptly when his contract with Barcelona expired in 2021, prompting him to sign for PSG for two years and then Inter Miami this summer.

Messi nears astounding $1.6 billion in total career earnings with MSL deal

Lionel Messi is the highest-paid player in the MLS, with the Argentine reportedly earning up to $60 million annually, a deal Apple and Adidas helped fund when Inter Miami convinced him to join the club this summer. Despite ditching a bigger contract in Saudi Arabia to play in the MLS, Lionel Messi remains one of the highest earners in soccer and may have $1.6 billion in total career earnings by 2025, making him one of the best-paid athletes in the world.

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Credit: Sportico

According to Sportico, Messi has currently amassed $1.48 billion in total career earnings, a little behind Cristiano Ronaldo, who has made $1.58 billion in his career so far. Messi is only behind Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Cristiano Ronaldo, and LeBron James in terms of total career earnings. The Inter Miami star is above the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Roger Federer.

Can Messi lead Inter Miami to the MLS playoffs this season?


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