In a recent bombshell revelation from the Major League Soccer (MLS) salary disclosures, the football world discovered that Inter Miami's recent acquisition, Lionel Messi, is not just the highest paid player in MLS, but his earnings might rival those of some entire teams in other American leagues.
The Argentinian soccer maestro, who once illuminated European stadiums with his magic, shifted gears from Paris Saint-Germain to Inter Miami earlier this year.
Now, the 36-year-old is cashing in a staggering $20.4 million annually.
To give our American readers a sense of perspective: In the NFL, a rookie entering the league in 2022 would have a minimum salary of $660,000. This means Messi earns as much as approximately 31 NFL rookies combined!
While Messi reigns supreme in the MLS earnings chart, the player next in line is Toronto's Lorenzo Insigne, drawing in 15.4 million dollars. Not far behind, Xherdan Shaqiri of Chicago Fire is banking an annual 8.2 million dollars.
Yet, despite splurging on one of the world's finest football talents, Inter Miami finds itself languishing at the bottom tier of the MLS standings.
Currently seated at the penultimate position among the 15 teams in the Eastern Conference, the team's prospects of advancing to the playoffs look bleak.
While Messi's paycheck is a testament to his unparalleled football prowess, it also sparks a discussion on the vast pay scales in sports, and how even a legend like Messi can't guarantee success on the field.