Highest-Paid MLS Player: Lionel Messi Clears the 2023 MLS Earnings List by $45.5 Million
The top American soccer league is the MLS, and it doesn’t usually attract the top soccer talent from around the world. That said, Lionel Messi signed with an MLS team in July 2023, and his salary is easily more than the other highest-paid MLS players. Here’s a look at just how much the highest-paid players are being compensated in the MLS.
10. Carles Gil: $3.3 million
Carles Gil is the 10th highest-paid player in the MLS right now, according to Capology. The Spanish player currently plays for the New England Revolution. Gil has two years left on his deal, and that should pay him a total of $6.5 million gross. While with the club, the 30-year-old was named to the All-Star Game twice.
9. Sebastián Driussi: $3.8 million
Sebastián Driussi is an Argentine player for Austin with three years left on his deal. When it’s done, the 27-year-old midfielder will receive about $11.4 million. With Austin, Driussi has gone to the All-Star game once.
8. Josef Martínez: $4 million
Josef Martínez is a Venezuelan player for Inter Miami. This is the last year of the 30-year-old striker’s contract with the club. Martínez won the MLS Cup once when he played with Atlanta United. In 2018, he earned the league MVP and the MLS Golden Boot.
7. Christian Benteke: $4.3 million
Christian Benteke is a Belgian player for DC United with two years left on his deal. That adds up to $8.5 million in cash remaining. The 32-year-old striker hasn’t won much, but Benteke was named an All-Star during the 2023 MLS season.
6. Héctor Herrera: $4.8 million
Héctor Herrera is a Mexican player for the Houston Dynamo. The 33-year-old midfielder has two years left on his contract, adding. up to $9.5 million remaining. Herrera won La Liga with Atlético Madrid a few years back. In 2012, he helped the Mexican national team with gold at the Olympics.
5. Chicharito: $6 million
Javier Hernández Balcázar, popularly known as Chicharito, is a Mexican player who captains the LA Galaxy. This is the last year of the 35-year-old striker’s deal with the club. Chicharito won the Premier League twice while playing for Manchester United, and he also won in Liga MX when he represented Guadalajara.
4. Xherdan Shaqiri: $7.4 million
Xherdan Shaqiri is a Swiss player for the Chicago Fire with two years left on the deal. The 31-year-old winger is set to earn $14.7 million. Shaqiri had a successful career as he’s won league titles in the Bundesliga and Premier League.
3. Lorenzo Insigne: $7.5 million
Lorenzo Insigne is an Italian player for Toronto with four years left on his deal, paying him $30 million gross. The 32-year-old winger had a good career in Italy, as he helped win the UEFA European Championship back in 2020.
2. Sergio Busquets: $10 million
Sergio Busquets is a Spanish player for Inter Miami, one of the biggest signings this season. The 35-year-old defensive midfielder signed a three-year deal that will pay him approximately $30 million when it’s done. Busquets spent the majority of his soccer career in Barcelona, where he helped win the league eight times. Busquets was also part of the Spanish national team that won the World Cup in 2010.
1. Lionel Messi: $54 million
The biggest MLS signing this year was, of course, Lionel Messi. The Argentine GOAT also signed a three-year deal that will pay him $162 million gross — the largest MLS contract ever. Messi has spent most of his career playing with Barca alongside Busquets. The 36-year-old forward has a long list of accolades, most notably leading Argentina to a World Cup win in 2022.