Bethesda - Brazilian
star Kaka is the highest paid player in Major League Soccer, topping
the earnings rankings ahead of Italy international Sebastian Giovinco
and United States captain Michael Bradley, figures showed on Thursday.
Former world footballer of the year Kaka, who plays for Florida club
Orlando City, led the earnings with a guaranteed salary of $7 167 500, just ahead of Toronto FC's Giovinco, second with
$7 115 556.
US international skipper Bradley, who also plays with Toronto, was third with wages of $6.5 million.
High-profile overseas stars who have joined the MLS in recent years
were the next to feature on the list, with Los Angeles Galaxy's Steven
Gerrard fourth ($6 132 500), ahead of New York City FC trio Frank
Lampard, Andrea Pirlo and David Villa.
Lampard, whose New York career has been plagued by injury since his
arrival last year, earns $6 million, while Pirlo was just behind on $5.9
Spanish World Cup winner Villa takes home around $5.6 million.
Rounding out the top 10 were Toronto's American international Jozy
Altidore ($4.8 million), Seattle's Clint Dempsey ($4.6 million) and Los
Angeles Galaxy's Mexican striker Giovani dos Santos ($4.25 million).
The list of salaries sheds interesting light on the vast disparities
that exist between the league's best-paid players and those at the other
end of the scale.
The lowest paid player in the league according to the figures is Montreal's Belizean forward Michael Salazar.
The 23-year-old earns $51 492 a year - less than three days wages for best-paid player Kaka.
Unsurprisingly, the highest salaries in the MLS pale beside the wages of the world's best players.
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi earns $71 million a year while Real
Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo rakes in $59 million, according to
figures on the Business Insider website.
The highest MLS salaries are also comfortably eclipsed by the vast
sums being paid by clubs in the Chinese Super League, whose teams
splurged a record $278 million in the most recent transfer window.
Argentinian international Ezequiel Lavezzi joined Hebei China Fortune
from Paris Saint-Germain on an annual salary of $16.8 million while
Colombian international Jackson Martinez reportedly earns $14 million a
year with Guangzhou Evergrande.