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Highest-paid MLS Players of 2023

From Insigne to Chicharito to Shaqiri and that Messi fellow and beyond, find out who owns the title of highest-paid MLS player for the 2023 soccer season.

May 16 marked what is essentially Christmas morning for those attuned to the wild world of Major League Soccer economics. As is its annual tradition, the MLS Players Association revealed its 2023 Salary Guide compiling this year’s base salaries and total effective compensation figures for all 869 of the league’s players as of April 30.

So, who’s the undisputed king of MLS salaries this year?

If you said it was the Beautiful Game’s all-time greatest player, well your correct.

When the MLSPA first revealed this year’s player salaries back in April, the highest-paid man by total guaranteed salary was the same guy who won it last year — a square-shaped fellow whose past career stops include relatively recent league champions in Germany, Italy, and England (scroll down if you’re wiggling in your seat with feverish impatience). While other familiar names are to be found on this year’s list — Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, Carlos Vela, Josef Martínez, and Nicolás Lodeiro are all here, along with a sprinkling of US National Team talents — a number of well-known league debutantes have crashed the gates of the money rankings for the very first time, including Toronto FC teammates and Italian countrymen Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi.

But of course, as with so much else in the game of soccer, everyone’s looking up at one Lionel Messi.

No more parking the bus — let’s get to the numbers and reveal the honor roll of highest-paid MLS players of 2023.

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Highest-paid MLS Players of 2023

Dollar figures reflect guaranteed compensation as listed by the MLSPA as of Oct. 18, 2023. Numbers may not fully reflect year-by-year salary bonus structure over the course of a given player’s contract.

1. Inter Miami F Lionel Messi: $20,446,667

2. Toronto FC F Lorenzo Insigne: $15,400,000

  • Age: 31
  • Nationality: Italy
  • Arrived from: Napoli (Italy), 2022

3. Chicago Fire F Xherdan Shaqiri: $8,153,000

  • Age: 31
  • Nationality: Switzerland
  • Arrived from: Olympiquie Lyonnais (France), 2022

4. LA Galaxy F Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez: $7,443,750

  • Age: 34
  • Nationality: Mexico
  • Arrived from: Sevilla (Spain), 2020

5. Toronto FC M/F Federico Bernardeschi: $6,295,381

  • Age: 29
  • Nationality: Italy
  • Arrived from: Juventus (Italy), 2022

6. Austin FC F Sebastián Driussi: $6,022,500

  • Age: 27
  • Nationality: Argentina
  • Arrived from: Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia), 2021

7. Houston Dynamo M Héctor Herrera: $5,246,875

8. LA Galaxy F Douglas Costa: $4,508,333

  • Age: 32
  • Nationality: Brazil
  • Arrived from: Juventus (Italy), 2022

9. DC United F Christian Benteke: $4,432,778

  • Age: 32
  • Nationality: Belgium
  • Arrived from: Crystal Palace (England), 2022

10. Inter Miami F Josef Martínez: $4,391,667

  • Age: 29
  • Nationality: Venezuela
  • Arrived from: Torino (Italy), 2017

11. LAFC F Carlos Vela: $4,373,900

  • Age: 34
  • Nationality: Mexico
  • Arrived from: Real Sociedad (Spain), 2018

12. Minnesota United F Teemu Pukki: $3,550,000

  • Age: 33
  • Nationality: Finland
  • Arrived from: Norwich City (England), 2023

13. New England Revolution M Carles Gil: $3,545,833

  • Age: 30
  • Nationality: Spain
  • Arrived from: Deportivo La Coruña (Spain), 2019

14. Seattle Sounders M Nicolás Lodeiro: $3,256,667

  • Age: 34
  • Nationality: Uruguay
  • Arrived from: Boca Juniors (Argentina), 2016

15. Seattle Sounders F Raúl Ruidíaz: $3,201,120

  • Age: 32
  • Nationality: Peru
  • Arrived from: Morelia (Mexico), 2018

16. Nashville SC M Hany Mukhtar: $3,188,750

  • Age: 28
  • Nationality: Germany
  • Arrived from: Brøndby

17. New England Revolution F Jozy Altidore: $2,939,963

18. Nashville SC F Sam Surridge: $2,907,639

  • Age: 25
  • Nationality: England
  • Arrived from: Nottingham Forest (England), 2023

19. Columbus Crew F Cucho Hernández: $2,886,000

  • Age: 24
  • Nationality: Colombia
  • Arrived from: Watford (England), 2022

20. Diego Rossi: $2,677,000

Other Notable 2023 MLS Salaries

  • Atlanta United M/F Thiago Almada: $2,332,000
  • FC Cincinnati M Luciano Acosta: $2,222,854
  • Atlanta United M/F Esequiel Barco: $2,200,000
  • Sporting KC F Alan Pulido: $2,200,000
  • Nashville SC D Walker Zimmerman: $2,056,979
  • FC Dallas F Jesús Ferreira: $1,852,000
  • Columbus Crew M Darlington Nagbe: $1,800,000
  • CF Montreal M Victor Wanyama: $1,800,000
  • Inter Miami M Sergo Busquets: $1,750,000
  • LA Galaxy M Riqui Puig: $1,732,500
  • FC Dallas M Paul Arriola: $1,729,400
  • St. Louis City G Roman Bürki: $1,632,469
  • Seattle Sounders F Jordan Morris: $1,560,000
  • FC Cincinnati D Matt Miazga: $1,500,000
  • Seattle Sounders M Cristian Roldán: $1,441,000
  • LAFC M Kellyn Acosta: $1,365,000
  • Inter Miami D Jordi Alba: $1,250,000
  • Philadelphia Union M Alejandro Bedoya: $1,060,000
  • Inter Miami D DeAndre Yedlin: $873,750
  • Austin FC F Gyasi Zardes: $800,000

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