Ricardo Kaka’ is still confirmed as the most paid player in the Major League Soccer, followed by other Italians. In the rank published by the MLS Soccer Player Union (players’ union), the Brazilian player former AC Milan and Real Madrid earns the highest salary in the league. His annual salary at Orlando City amounts to $6.6 million. In 2017, Kaka’ will pocket a total of $7.2 million including guaranteed bonuses (signing bonus, for instance, which is diluted over the total period of the contract). This money are guaranteed directly by the MLS, since the league is the signer of these contracts, and not the team itself like in Europe.
Among the most paid players there are also two Italians: Sebastian Giovinco with a total of $7.1 million salary (including bonuses) in 2017, while Pirlo is fourth in the rankings with $5.9 million behind the former Roma player Bradley who earns a total of $6.5 million.
Compared to 2016, Gerrard and Lampard exited the top 10, while Bastian Schweinsteiger who recently joined Chicago Fire enters the rankings with $5.4 million as well as Diego Valeri, midfielder for Portland Timbers with $2.6 million. At some point (probably sooner than later), Zlatan Ibrahimovic might be another top player added to this list, and most likely he would contend the first place position with Kaka’. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ibrahimovic just refused a contract renewal offer from Manchester United for $13 million a year due to the recent injury that will keep him away from the field for a long time. Could he directly come back on the field playing for an MLS team after the injury recovery?
MLS Salaries 2017, the other Italians
There is a total of 6 Italian players in the Major League Soccer: besides Giovinco and Pirlo, respectively playing for Toronto FC and New York City FC, Antonio Nocerino (Orlando City, salary of $0.85 million), Matteo Mancosu (Montreal Impact, $0.72 million), Marco Donadel (Montreal Impact, $0.39 million), and Paolo Tornaghi (Vancouver Whitecaps, $80 thousand).