Major League Soccer and Mexico’s Liga MX will long be battling for the tag of the best domestic league in the CONCACAF and if player salaries are anything to go by, MLS is winning the battle.
Liga MX has long been considered the superior league, in terms of player quality and business, as well as the fact that the league has seemed to attract the ‘big’ names ahead of MLS in recent years.
But that is changing and changing fast. MLS is growing at an unprecedented level and the 2015 season will be the league’s biggest and best ever as 20 teams will take part for the first time ever and international stars such as Kaka, David Villa and Sebastian Giovinco will grace the league with their quality.
If player salaries are anything to go by, the MLS is now the superior domestic league in the CONCACAF as a list of the top ten highest paid players in Liga MX has been released by Forbes Mexico:
|Player||Club||Annual Base Salary|
|Roque Santa Cruz||Cruz Azul||2.6 million USD|
|Oribe Peralta||Club America||2.5 million USD|
|Darwin Quintero||Club America||1.8 million USD|
|Ronaldinho||Queretaro||1.8 million USD|
|Angel Reyna||Chivas||1.7 million USD|
|Jesus Corona||Cruz Azul||1.5million USD|
|Marco Fabian||Chivas||1.5 million USD|
|Paulo da Silva||Toluca||1.2 million USD|
|Dorlan Pabon||Monterrey||1.2 million USD|
|Mauro Boselli||Leon||1.1 million USD|
Roque Santa Cruz is the highest paid player in Liga MX, earning 2.6 million dollars annually but that is just a fraction of what Major League Soccer’s highest paid player Sebastian Giovinco is set to earn in 2015 following his move from Juventus this winter.
Giovinco is expected to earn around $7 million in his debut campaign in MLS while fellow newcomer Kaka is set to earn $6.6 million as a base salary.
Below is a list of MLS players anticipated salaries for 2015. Most are according to the MLS Players’ Union while the salary of Steven Gerrard is based on reported figures. Frank Lampard’s projected salary with New York City FC has not been revealed, though he would likely make the top ten in earnings this year.
It is clear to see that the best players in MLS are earning significantly more than those in Liga MX as a base salary:
|Player||Club||Annual Base Salary|
|Sebastian Giovinco||Toronto FC||7.0 million USD|
|Kaka||Orlando City SC||6.6 million USD|
|David Villa||New York City FC||6.0 million USD|
|Michael Bradley||Toronto FC||6.0 million USD|
|Jozy Altidore||Toronto FC||6.0 million USD|
|Clint Dempsey||Seattle Sounders||4.9 million USD|
|Robbie Keane||LA Galaxy||4.5 million USD|
|Steven Gerrard||LA Galaxy||4.0 million USD|
|Jermaine Jones||New England Revolution||3.0 million USD|
|Obafemi Martins||Seattle Sounders||1.6 million USD|
It says a lot that the ninth-highest paid player in MLS, Jermaine Jones would be the highest paid player in Liga MX with his base salary of around $3 million per year.
The Designated Player rule in the United States means a small fraction of players can earn the huge wages seen above, but Liga MX players still earn better salaries on average league-wide.
A report last November revealed players in Mexico would earn an average of $410,139 per season compared to $209,906 per year in MLS on average.
On the field, an MLS side has yet to win the CONCACAF Champions League since the tournament’s inception in 2009.
A Liga MX club has won each year since then, with Monterrey the most successful team with three Champions League titles in six years.
Real Salt Lake came closest when they reached the final in 2011 but ultimately lost to Monterrey on that occasion.
Things could now be swinging in the favour of MLS though as the rapidly growing league continues to rise on and off the field.
Which league would you class as the best – MLS or Liga MX?