A recent report has discovered that the MLS had more players in 2016 earning a six-figure or above salary than Italy's serie a. The study was conducted by the London marketing agency Verve Search and the Norwegian financial consultants Axo Finans, who found that 5% of players in the MLS earned €100,000 ($107,000) a week or more in comparison to Italy's top football league Serie A where only 3% earned that amount.

MLS and Serie A wages

The highest salaries in the MLS belonged to former Ballon d'Or winner Kaka, who's salary earned him $159,000 a week, and Italian international Sebastian Giovinco, who took in a weekly salary of $134,000, leaving the duo just slightly behind Serie A's top earner Gonzalo Higuain ($159,000 a week), who's summer transfer to Juventus to Napoli for a whopping $97,000,000 made him one of the most expensive players of all-time.

There were just two other Serie A players who earned over €100,000 ($107,000) in weekly salary through 2016, Higuain's Juventus team-mate Miralem Pjanic (who also moved to the club in the summer) and Roma's Daniele De Rossi.

Other players in the MLS earning over €100,000 ($107,000) a week included the now retired former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, Toronto FC's Michael Bradley (who is the son of former USA Soccer coach and current Swansea manager Bob Bradley), Chelsea legend Frank Lampard and former Serie A star Andrea Pirlo. The study found that the Premier League had the largest percentage of players earning over €100,000 ($107,000) a week with a huge 49% compared to it's closest rivals La Liga and the Chinese Super League (both at 15%).

Major League Soccer has used large financial incentives to attract big names into the league, mainly elderly players looking to top up their retirement fund in what is seen by many as a less competitive league than most of those in Europe. However, the results of the study also acts as evidence for the rapid decline of Serie A soccer, once seen as one of the most powerful leagues in the game during the 1990's, the Italian league's popularity has quickly diminished amidst economical issues, multiple cases of corruption and hooligan violence.

The league has also been criticized by many for being boring, with the study finding that the lack of competition within the league had an adverse affect on TV viewing figures.

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