Lionel Messi is currently leading Argentina during the World Cup. His play has been strong enough that the Argentines won their group and advanced to the Round of 16. Before the World Cup, Messi was playing well for Paris Saint-Germain, closing in on his 800th career goal and 400th career assist.
After the World Cup? Messi just may be headed to Miami on the richest MLS contract ever.
UK’s The Times first reported Messi’s potential move. While the news didn’t mention an exact number, they claimed Messi was set to agree on a historic deal with Inter Miami. A report earlier this year said Messi would not only join Inter Miami, but he’d also receive a 35% ownership stake the club, which is co-owned by David Beckham.
Coincidentally, Beckham lays claim to the current richest MLS contract ever. He earned $250 million from the LA Galaxy, though a significant portion of that total came from sponsorships and a revenue agreement with the team. In terms of base salary, Lorenzo Insigne signed a deal with Toronto FC worth $14 million annually.
Messi’s Miami deal will almost certainly surpass that $14 million per year mark. However, the 35% ownership stake in the team is likely a key component of the “richest” contract.
While the money and ownership stake are great perks, there are other benefits for the 35-year-old Messi to join Inter Miami. For one, he’s already got a home in the city. His good friend Luis Suarez, who may join Inter Miami alongside Messi and Cesc Fabregas, has a Miami home, too.
Miami is also much closer to Messi’s home country of Argentina than anywhere in Europe. He’d gain new fans in both North and South America and would have a chance to cement his legacy in another league. Inter Miami has only played three seasons in MLS, reaching the playoffs for the first time in 2022.
If Messi joins the club and leads them to an MLS title, that would be an impressive closing act for his career.