Despite financial setback linked to Michael Jordan, $55,000,000-a-year icon Lionel Messi surpasses LeBron James as highest-paid athlete in US

It’s no secret anymore that seven times Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi is setting foot on American soil after the Argentinian agreed a deal with David Beckham’s Inter Miami CF. Earlier, details on his salary were revealed; however, a certain rule will take away a big chunk of Messi’s salary.

Lionel Messi’s estimated salary is believed to be a gigantic $55 million annually. This huge remuneration, along with the added deals from Apple and Adidas, will set him on his way to becoming the highest-paid athlete in the United States. However, he will lose a large amount in taxes thanks to a particular tax rule popularized by NBA legend Michael Jordan.

Messi loses big in taxes due to Michael Jordan’s popularized rule

Despite being one of the wealthiest sportsmen in the world, Messi has an infamous record of being called out for tax fraud multiple times. The United States has a pretty tight and unforgiving tax system, something that is very difficult to avoid.

Andrew Petcash has broken down Messi’s income in a recent tweet. Take a look:

The Jock Tax is the most unusual thing he has to pay. The rule, which had been in place since 1991, became widely known thanks to Michael Jordan. The Jock tax is a hypothetical levy on the income of celebrities with widespread public recognition, most commonly athletes. It is also applied when athletes make a lot of money from sources other than their home state. 

The 1960s marked the introduction of this regulation. The Bulls’ 1991 NBA Finals victory over the Lakers marked its official implementation and widespread acceptance. When MJ won his first championship, the IRS mailed him a $10,000 tax bill.

How Lionel Messi to exceeds LeBron James as Highest paid athlete?

LeBron James will earn $46,900,000 in NBA salary during the upcoming 2023–24 season. LeBron is one of the best players in the NBA, if not the best. He is a true American superstar. However, Messi stands to make more money from day one in the United States, with a $55,000,000 contract with Inter Miami alone. 

And when you factor in the endorsements, sponsorships, and ownership stake he will get, there is really nothing to compare it to.

What are your thoughts on Messi becoming the highest earner in the US? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Tanzeem Rahman

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Tanzeem Rahman is a soccer writer and an editor at SportsZion. Tanzeem's love for the sport began by watching and admiring Cristiano Ronaldo in his early Manchester United days. Having graduated from Germany as an Electrical Engineer, Tanzeem has watched multiple high-profile games throughout Europe from the gallery. His knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport, as well as sublime english proficiency has been an asset to SportsKnot. Outside of his duty, Tanzeem is a gamer, and loves to spend time watching Anime and reading Manga.


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