Although Inter Miami failed to make the MLS playoffs, it was considered a great season, especially with the arrival of Lionel Messi in July. The Argentine, reeling from his country’s World Cup triumph seven months earlier, was as motivated as ever to join the Florida-based franchise, especially after his ill-advised two-year spell at PSG.
The signing of Lionel Messi came at a cost for Inter Miami, though. The former Barcelona star reportedly penned a deal worth $20.5 million guaranteed per year. This means with his 11 goals in 14 appearances in 2023, Inter Miami will have spent almost $1.85 million per goal scored, which is a huge sum for any MLS club.
Lionel Messi cost Inter Miami almost $1.85 million per goal in 2023-24
Lionel Messi is the most marketable sportsperson on earth, so when he decided to ditch all the money in the world offered by Saudi Arabia to join Inter Miami in the MLS, many struggled to understand him. However, Messi saw more than just money in joining the club. Reports suggest that Messi’s deal includes some equity in the franchise, which is a great move, considering the vast potential a commercial club like Inter Miami has.
Lionel Messi quickly hit the ground running with Inter Miami, scoring a beautiful free-kick goal on his debut. The Argentine went on a scoring run for the next few games, helping Inter Miami win their first trophy when they landed the Leagues Cup in August.
According to Sports Business Journal, Inter Miami offered Lionel Messi a contract that runs until 2025 with close to $60 million per season. His base salary of $12 million is joined by an extra $8.5 million in marketing bonuses. Taking this into account, it means the club paid Messi $1.85 million for each goal he scored in his first season. The Argentine scored 11 goals in 14 appearances to nail the club’s MVP award in his debut season.
Lionel Messi’s career earnings to reach $1.6 billion with Inter Miami deal
Lionel Messi is one of the richest soccer players in the world, alongside other big names like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe. Forbes estimated the Argentine’s career earnings at $1.28 billion in 2013, which could go way more than that before his contract with Inter Miami runs out.
Messi’s contract is worth $150 million over two-and-a-half years, thanks to the compensation he’s getting from his deal with MLS partners Adidas and Apple. His impact on the league cannot be underemphasized. As soon as Messi joined Inter Miami, Apple’s MLS season pass subscriptions rose exponentially, and so did the sales of his shirt.
With these numbers, Messi’s career earnings are set to shoot to $1.6 billion by 2025.
Can Lionel Messi win more trophies with Inter Miami next season?