Lionel Messi recently revealed that he would be joining Inter Miami upon the expiration of his PSG contract, thus ending his career in Europe as he takes on a new adventure in the US.
The Argentine is one of the GOATs of soccer, and there is no denying that he is an individual that is deserving of any financial deal that he receives. Recently a FIFA World Cup winner after Argentina won the competition in 2022, the magician has won it all.
While his long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo managed to earn a mega deal himself when moving to Saudi Arabia – where numerous members of the football fraternity are now moving – Messi also managed to secure himself a deal that revolutionizes his own future in a variety of different ways, as well as seemingly bankrolling Inter Miami at the same time.
The Messi Effect
Some may remember that impact that David Beckham – who coincidently owns the expansion franchise – had when he first arrived in the MLS. The English legend arrived at the LA Galaxy in 2007 and interest in the sport and the league surged like no other. The buzz was so great it became very difficult to get a ticket to see the Californian outfit take to the field.
The same has happened following Messi’s move to Florida. While he will not be available for the franchise until July at the earliest, getting a ticket since the announcement of his signing has been like gold dust. In fact, it has arguably been easier to find gold dust! The club has been able to benefit financially, as merchandise has been able to be shifted, while there are now commercial opportunities that were previously unavailable.
More eyes will also be on the club over the course of the short-term future, too. Many will be looking at the team as a potential sports betting opportunity now that they have the Argentine superstar as part of their squad. Fans will believe that Messi will be able to have a huge impact on US soccer, and will take the league in his stride and be as successful as he has been with Barcelona and PSG.
How will Messi be able to redefine his financial game?
While Leo Messi will already have more money than he will likely ever need, there is no denying that he has so much more to come. According to Forbes, he was the second on the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes (behind CR7), after earning an estimated $130 million over the last 12 months. Half of that money was made from his endorsement deals with the likes of Pepsi, Adidas, and Budweiser.
As part of the deal to join Inter Miami, that side of his financial game is expected to expand ten-fold. Aside from the fact that he is believed to be about to earn a salary of roughly $53 million annually from the club, he will also earn a percentage of revenue from numerous other aspects that have been tied into his contract. In comparison to the best-paid player in the MLS before his arrival, Xhedran Shaqiri is believed to only make $8 million annually.
It is understood that he will earn a percentage of the sales that are made from Apple’s MLS Season Pass, while he will also get a percentage from the sales of club shirts – which are manufactured by Adidas. Additionally, he will be given an ownership stake in the expansion franchise, much in the way that Beckham did.
The figures that could be generated from these avenues could be of an incredible amount, especially given the pulling power that the Argentine has on the sport. He is expected to make more than $150 million over the duration of his contract. Add in the fact that the state of Florida does not have a state individual income tax, meaning he will experience favorable conditions that will allow him to keep more of his money in his pocket than give it up to the government.
Will Messi be a success in the MLS?
It would be a surprise if Messi were not able to be a success in the MLS once he completes his move stateside. Of course, there is no guarantee as we have seen with CR7 and his move to Saudi Arabia, but with the GOAT’s ability, it would be a shock if he did not adapt quickly.
The Argentine may find it a little difficult to adjust in the beginning, but with games coming thick and fast, and with him likely to be as dedicated to being the best he can be, it would not be a surprise if he got firing straight away.
He will be teaming up with familiar faces, as former Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets will join him in Florida. At the same time, he will be coached by his former club and Argentina manager, Gerard Martino in Miami.
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