MLS could be giving Lionel Messi a cut of its mega $2.5 billion broadcast deal with Apple to lure him to America
- Lionel Messi confirmed on Wednesday he would sign for Inter Miami in MLS.
- The deal is not yet complete, but The Athletic reports he could get a share of Apple TV+ revenue.
Lionel Messi is taking his talents to Florida, and all the MLS team Inter Miami needed to sign him was some help from the world's biggest company.
According to The Athletic, Messi stands to get a share of Apple's $2.5 billion, 10-year agreement with MLS.
While the full terms of his contract with Inter Miami aren't yet complete, The Athletic reports the companies discussed giving him a share of the revenue generated by MLS Season Pass, the league's Apple TV+ streaming package.
Those subscription sales are the foundation of the huge Apple-MLS deal, per The Athletic.
The day before Messi confirmed his decision to sign with Inter Miami, Apple announced it would air a four-part docuseries about the Argentine superstar.
Some had speculated that the record seven-time Ballon d'Or winner would move to Saudi Arabia on becoming a free agent this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo became the highest-paid player in soccer history when he signed a $220-million-a-year contract with Al Nassr in December, per The Guardian.
And several more soccer players including Karim Benzema, who won last season's Ballon d'Or — the trophy given to the best soccer player on earth each year — have signed contracts with Saudi clubs in the past week.
But Messi wasn't convinced — turning down Al Hilal's offer of a reported $429 million a year, per The Athletic.
"If it had been a matter of money, I would have gone to Arabia or elsewhere," he told Mundo Deportivo. "It seemed like a lot of money to me, and the truth is that my decision was for the other side and not for money."
He added that he wanted to close out his career "enjoying the day-to-day much more, but with the same responsibility of wanting to win and always doing things well, but with more peace of mind."
Inter Miami has been playing in MLS only since 2020; it was cofounded by David Beckham in 2018.
The club came to be thanks to Beckham's own move to MLS in 2007, as it came with an option to purchase an expansion team for $25 million, The Guardian reported.
As for Saudi Arabia, well it still has plenty of other soccer stars — and practically the entire sport of golf.
Apple declined to comment when contacted by Insider. Inter Miami and MLS didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
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