The likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard may feel a little awkward the next time they step foot in their team changing room.
That’s because the MLS have decided to release the yearly wage of every registered player, and it’s safe to say some players get a lot more than others.
But it’s not Gerrard or Lampard that tops the list. Orlando City star and 2007 Ballon d’Or winner Kaka comes out on top with an annual salary of $7.2 million.
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Remarkably, Kaka’s club has a yearly wage budget of just $11.5 million meaning Kaka’s wages must be astronomical compared to his teammates’.
But Kaka isn’t far ahead of former Juventus star Sebastian Giovinco, who is currently plying his trade for Toronto, picking up a hefty $7.1 million-per-year.
Toronto, who have the biggest yearly budget at $21.8 million, also have the third best-paid player in the MLS in Michael Bradley, who earns $6.5 million.
Then comes the English duo with Gerrard just edging Lampard with the midfielders picking up $6.1 million-per-year and $6 million-per-year respectively.
With the league allowing ‘designated players,’ it means that the key players will earn a ridiculous amount in comparison to other players at the same club.
For example, one of Gerrard’s teammates, Ariel Lassiter, picks up just 51,500 dollars-per-year.
There are plenty of other big names in the top ten with Andrea Pirlo, David Villa, Jozy Altidore (no, really), Clint Dempsey and Giovani dos Santos completing the top ten best-paid players.
1. Kaka, Orlando City: $7,167,500
2. Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC: $7,115,556
3. Michael Bradley, Toronto FC: $6,500,000
4. Steven Gerrard, LA Galaxy, $6,132,500
5. Frank Lampard, New York City FC, $6,000,000
6. Andrea Pirlo, New York City FC: $5,915,690
7. David Villa, New York City FC: $5,610,000
8. Jozy Altidore, Toronto FC, $4,825,000
9. Clint Dempsey, Seattle Sounders: $4,605,942
10. Giovani dos Santos, LA Galaxy: $4,250,000
See the entire list of all of the players’ salaries, here: https://www.mlsplayers.org/salary_info.html
What the salary information also shows is that the MLS is far from a level playing ground when it comes to wages.
There are just five clubs - other than his own - that have an annual budget more than Kaka’s wage alone. These are: Toronto, New York City, LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders and Colorado Rapids.
In a preseason poll conducted by ESPN, 84 percent of players asked said MLS players are not paid fairly.
"I think it's just hard to say that it's fair when you can be making $60,000 and a guy on your team is making $8 million," one player said. "You don't see gaps like that in other leagues."
It certainly does seem a bit unfair, doesn't it?