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10 times better: The incredible difference between Lionel Messi and highest-paid MLS player salaries

Los Angeles Football Club player, Carlos Vela, is the highest-paid player in the MLS. He earns $4.5m annually with up to $6.3m after bonuses. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi earns $41m annually and up to $59m after performance bonuses.

10 times better: The incredible difference between Lionel Messi and highest-paid MLS player salaries

The disparity in wealth between European clubs and American clubs is ever so vast especially now. Even though many players in the past leave the European Leagues to go to the Major League Soccer (MLS) in the past for the big payday, the league has adjusted and no longer pays the huge salaries it paid the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pato and Didier Drogba. Now, the clubs have to follow a strict player wage structure and classification. 

Consequently, Carlos Vela, who plays for the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) is the highest-paid player in the MLS, receiving a total annual salary of $4.5m with bonuses and allowances shooting the number up to about $6.3m annually. The former Arsenal and Real Sociedad attacker tops Javier "Chicharito' Hernandez and Gonzalo Higuain to come in first on the list of highest-earning players in the MLS. 

On the other hand, players in Europe earn markedly more than their MLS counterparts in terms of salaries. A case in point is that of Lionel Messi who currently earns a base salary of about $41m with the possibility of rising to $59m dependent on personal achievements and team performances/trophies. Even though this salary is very impressive, it is still less than the $62m base salary that Lionel Messi was earning at his former club, FC Barcelona. 

The disparity in wages and salaries between the MLS and the European Leagues is predominantly due to the volume of sponsorship and viewership of the leagues. The European Leagues enjoy multi-million dollar sponsorship deals and take part in the money-spinning UEFA Champions League competition. This is the major source of wealth for European clubs which the MLS doesn't have yet.

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