Lionel Messi's deal could hit $150M before endorsements: report

By Reuters   June 19, 2023 | 07:51 pm PT
Lionel Messi's deal could hit $150M before endorsements: report
Lionel Messi plays for Argentina. Photo by Reuters
Lionel Messi and Inter Miami are finalizing a megadeal worth up to $150 million to bring the superstar to MLS, Sportico reported Monday.

That figure consists of salary, signing bonus and equity in the club and runs through the 2025 season with an option for 2026, per Sportico. Revenue-sharing agreements with Adidas, Apple and Fanatics, all of which are MLS partners, are not included in the initial figure.

Messi already has a lifetime deal with Adidas, per Forbes.

MLS is not subsidizing the contract, and Messi will not have the same option to buy an MLS team that David Beckham received when he moved to MLS in 2007, Sportico reported. That option turned into Inter Miami, of which Beckham is a co-owner.

Messi, who turns 36 on Saturday, was the star of Argentina's 2022 World Cup championship team. He officially becomes a free agent at the end of this month when his contract at France's Paris Saint-Germain expires. He said on June 7 that he had selected Inter Miami over other overseas offers, including a reported $400 million a year to play at Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal.

He is expected to debut with Inter Miami on July 21 against Liga MX team Cruz Azul in a home Leagues Cup match.

Messi's new deal will add to his already vast wealth. He ranked second on Forbes' 2023 list of highest-paid athletes with $130 million in annual earnings -- half on the pitch and half in endorsements.

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