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These are the highest-paid footballers in the MLS

Last year, a large number of players headed to Saudi Arabia, including big stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and N’golo Kanté. Similarly, we see a comparable situation in the United States, with former players such as David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba, and Zlatan Ibrahimović playing there. More recently, Lionel Messi and his former teammates Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, and Luis Suarez joined Inter Miami FC. This phenomenon spans generations: Johan Cruyff played for the Washington Diplomats in his twilight years, and Franz Beckenbauer for the New York Cosmos. In this weekly feature, we highlight the top earners in each league. This week, it’s time to examine the current MLS.

MLS Highest-paid footballers

At first glance, the salaries in the MLS appear to be relatively modest compared to previously discussed leagues. However, a side note is that players primarily earn substantial amounts from lucrative sponsorship deals in the United States.

1. Lionel Messi (Inter Miami FC) – $12,000,000,-

It should come as no surprise that Lionel Messi tops this list. There is a Messi mania in the United States, with sold-out stadiums and ticket prices skyrocketing whenever the Argentine star came to town. Inter Miami managed to convince Messi to come and play in Florida. David Beckham’s club doubled down with Messi’s mates: Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, and Luis Suarez also signed on in the recent period.


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2. Lorenzo Insigne (Toronto FC) – $7,500,000,-

Lorenzo Insigne spent over a decade playing for Napoli SC before the club legend decided to resume his career in the MLS with Toronto FC. The skillful dribbler is now entering his third season with the Canadians.


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3. Xherdan Shaqiri (Chicago Fire) – $7,300,000,-

Xherdan Shaqiri boasts an impressive resume with clubs like FC Basel, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Stoke City, Liverpool, and Olympique Lyonnais. The Swiss player has also earned 121 caps for his country. Shaqiri has now comfortably settled in Chicago.


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4. Héctor Herrera (Houston Dynamo) – $4,750,000,-

Héctor Herrera came up through the youth academy of Pachuca FC, where he made his breakthrough. After two seasons in Mexico, he moved to European fields to play for FC Porto. The midfielder enjoyed his time there before departing to Atletico Madrid after seven seasons. He now plays in midfield for Houston Dynamo.


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5. Christian Benteke (DC United) – $4,250,000,-

Christian Benteke spent a few years in his home country of Belgium before moving to the English Premier League. The Belgian boasts a solid track record with a lengthy spell in one of, if not the best, leagues in the world, featuring for clubs like Aston Villa, Liverpool, and Crystal Palace. He has been playing for DC United in the United States for a few seasons now. Despite getting older, he continues to do what he has always done: Score goals. This season, the striker has scored 11 goals in 10 matches, making him the joint top scorer in the MLS.


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Complete top 10:

6. Sebestián Driussi (Austin FC) – $3,800,000,-

7. Carles Gil (New England Revolution) – $3,250,000,-

8. Teemu Pukki (Minnesota United) – $3,200,000,-

9. Federico Bernardeschi (Toronto FC) – $3,125,000,-

10. Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC) – $2,900,000,-