Insigne, Kaka, Zlatan: 5 of the highest-paid players in MLS history

Kaka once held the record of being the highest-paid player in MLS history
Kaka once held the record of being the highest-paid player in MLS history / Chris McEniry/Overflow Productions, Inc./GettyImages

Major League Soccer (MLS) side, Toronto FC recently announced the signing of Lorenzo Inisgne from Napoli with the Italian signing a pre-contract with the club which will see him joining them in July.

Toronto have made Insigne the highest-paid player in MLS history, with his salary dwarfing that of the other legends who have played in North America before him. Here, we take a look at five of the highest-paid players in the history of the league.

1. Lorenzo Insigne (Toronto FC) - $18 million-per-year

Lorenzo Insigne
Lorenzo Insigne of SSC Napoli in action during the Serie A... / Nicolò Campo/GettyImages

Many were surprised when it was announced that Lorenzo Insigne would leave Napoli and join Toronto FC next summer, considering that he is just 30-years-old and is widely considered as one of the best wingers in the world.

Insigne played a big role in Italy's 2020 European Championship win and has been a consistent performer for Napoli for more than a decade now - making 414 appearances so far while scoring 114 goals.

2. Kaka (Toronto FC) - $7.2 million-per-year

New England Revolution V Orlando City SC / Chris McEniry/Overflow Productions, Inc./GettyImages

One of the best players of his generation and the 2007 Ballon d'Or award winner, Kaka was the previous highest-paid player in MLS history after receiving a salary of $7.2 million-per-year on joining Orlando City in 2015.

The Brazilian was big hit both on and off the pitch during his time in the United States of America, scoring 24 goals and providing 22 assists in his three seasons with them - though he could not lead them to the league title during his stint with them.

3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy) - $7.2 million-per-year

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Vancouver Whitecaps FC v Los Angeles Galaxy / Shaun Clark/GettyImages

Zlatan Ibrahimovic achieved iconic status in Los Angeles despite spending only two seasons with LA Galaxy as the striker was brilliant on the pitch, scoring a staggering 53 goals in just 58 appearances for them.

The Super Swede lead the club to the play-off stage in his second season, while winning a slew of individual awards during his time in the country.

4. Javier Hernandez (LA Galaxy) - $7.2 million-per-year

Javier Hernandez
Minnesota United FC v Los Angeles Galaxy / Shaun Clark/GettyImages

Javier Hernandez was signed by LA Galaxy for the same salary in the hope that he would have the same impact for them, and while he had a disastrous debut season, he showed his true class in 2021.

The Mexican star has so far netted 19 goals in 33 appearances for the club and it will be interesting to see whether he can lead them to silverware in the near future.

5. Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC) - $7.1 million-per-year

Sebastian Giovinco
Toronto FC v Columbus Crew SC / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Widely considered as the best foreign player in MLS history, Sebastian Giovinco was unplayable at times during his four year spell with Toronto FC as he led the club to the 2017 MLS Cup, 2017 Supporters' Shield and three consecutive Canadian Championships.

He netted 83 goals in 142 appearances for them, winning a number of individual honours, which included the MVP award in 2015.