The man is 36. It’s about time to start thinking about retirement. Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini (that’s the man’s full name) is the world’s best footballer. Basta. The other, whose name should not be mentioned here, is two years older, so also on the way to retirement. One was drawn to Saudi Arabia and Messi probably made a deal with Apple.


In the final years of their career, many football stars are lured by clubs that offer them a lot of money but hardly any sporting challenges. That was already the case with Beckenbauer (the older ones will remember) or with Beckham (the younger ones will remember) and also with Messi. Unlike many others, Messi was not persuaded by the sheikhs with millions, but by Tim Cook.

50 million

This season, Messi plays in Major League Soccer (MLS), which consists of clubs in the US and Canada, at Inter Miami (which, by the way, is also co-owned by the aforementioned David Beckham) and apparently he managed to increase his salary a bit. At his old clubs, he initially only received a handout of 35 million (FC Barcelona), pocket money of 40 million (Paris St. Germain) and now finally something more with an estimated 50 to 60 million dollars in the US Did I mention that these sums were and are paid per season? The man, whose name will not be mentioned here, earns four times as much, an estimated 200 million dollars, with his club al-Nasr FC. Yes, for Apple it’s all just small change, since our group of hearts earns around 270 million dollars a day.

Discount for subscribers

Apple invested the 9-day earnings of 2.5 billion dollars in the broadcasting rights of the current Major Soccer League season and did something usual in the sports rights jungle: There is an additional subscription exclusively for soccer games, the MLS pass. It costs 14.99 euros per month or 99 euros for the entire season, for Apple TV+ subscribers (currently 6.99 euros per month) there is a discount and the price is 12.99 euros or 79 euros. Is it worth it for Apple and for the stepchild US soccer? Supposedly, the number of subscribers has already doubled from one to two million, as we reported on Apple Page. For comparison: 113 million viewers like to watch a Superbowl baseball final on television.

money and fame…

The rumor, from sources that are usually well speculated, is that Messi will have a share of the earnings from the MLS pass, which will mean little more than the equivalent of a part-time job as a near-retiree for him. In addition, the world’s best footballer will also receive a four-part exclusive documentary on AppleTV+, which will certainly contribute in a very flattering way to creating a legend. Money and fame for posterity, all nice…

… but the real reason

…but the real reason for the multi-millionaire Messi will be different: I see the number 10 on the back of the AFC Richmond shirt. I suspect: Messi will have a guest appearance with Ted Lasso. Take that Ronaldo!

Our columnist Dr. Marco is on holiday, but on Mastodon:, you can reach him personally at

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