Despite Lionel Messi only making his Major League Soccer debut two months ago, the Argentine’s jersey is the best-selling shirt of the season.
As per the MLS, retail figures have been crunched and the 25-top selling MLS jerseys purchased between January 1 and September 12 have been ranked.
Within twelve appearances, the Inter Miami star has quickly jumped into the top spot and surpassed the likes of Thiago Almada, Nashville’s Hany Mukhtar and his Herons teammate, Sergio Busquets.
Outside of Messi, Inter Miami has two more players in the top 25, while Seattle Sounders and St. Louis City also have three each.
Interestingly, the MLS writes that there are thirteen nationalities and all 15 MLS clubs, including NY Red Bulls and Philadelphia Union, all represented on the list.
The top 25 most purchased MLS shirts are as follows:
25 Xherdan Shaqiri
31-year-old Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri has just scraped into the top 25. The Chicago Fire player joined the MLS in 2022 and has since made 47 league appearances for Frank Klopas’ team.
24 Enzo Copetti
Argentinian winger Enzo Copetti has apparently sold more shirts this season than Shaqiri, entering at number 24 in the MLS rankings.
Earlier this year, the 27-year-old signed a three-year deal with North Carolina side Charlotte FC. Since joining, Copetti has scored a total of five goals in all competitions.
23 Daniel Gazdag
Representing Philadelphia Union, Daniel Gazdag’s seven MLS goals this season have earned him a fair few shirt purchases.
After leaving Hungray’s NB1 league, the midfielder joined The Union Zolos in 2021 and has since made 89 appearances in all competitions.
22 Carles Gill
The shirt of former Aston Villa man Carles Gill is apparently the 22nd-most bought jersey this MLS season.
A staple of New England Revolution’s midfield since 2019, the attacking midfielder has helped his side to win the Supporters’ Shield in 2021.
He was also previously named the MLS Comeback Player of the Year in the same year.
21 Josef Martinez
Venezuelan international and Inter Miami striker Josef Martinez’s jersey has been popular this season.
The number 17 has played in the MLS since 2017 - first with Atlanta United before being traded to The Herons in 2023.
20 Denis Bouanga
Denis Bouanga is a winger for Los Angeles Football Club and a Gabon international with seven national goals to his name.
Having joined the MLS side in 2022, the 28-year-old has netted 13 league goals for Steve Cherundolo’s club and has made 28 appearances.
19 Diego Chara
The sole representative of Portland Timbers, Diego Chara has made it into the top 20 list of the most MLS shirts sold this year.
Having been part of The Timbers since 2011, Chara has made a phenomenal 343 league appearances and helped win the MLS Cup back in 2015.
18 John Tolkin
United States international John Tolkin makes it on the list after spending the entirety of his football career thus far with the New York Red Bulls.
At 21-years-old, the New Jersey-born left-back has made 82 MLS appearances for the Red Bulls in total.
17 Karol Swiderski
Charlotte FC’s Karol Swiderski has the 17th best-selling shirt this season.
In January 2022, the North Carolina team announced that they had signed the Polish international from PAOK to a Designated Player contract.
Since then, he’s made 55 MLS appearances for the squad, managed by Christian Lattanzio.
16 Brandon Vazquez
Representing FC Cincinnati is 24-year-old Brandon Vazquez. Having played in the MLS since 2017, the Californian native was selected by Nashville SC in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft before being traded to Cincinnati.
Since joining the club in 2020, Vazquez has netted 30 league goals and has earned himself eight caps with the USMNT.
15 Riqui Puig
After leaving his boyhood club Barcelona in 2022, Riqui Puig linked up with LA Galaxy and joined on a free transfer.
Last summer, the 24-year-old signed a 3.5-year contract and was bestowed the honour of being selected to take part in the MLS All-Star team earlier this year.
14 Tim Parker
Former United States international Tim Parker has played for various MLS clubs since joining in 2012.
The New York native began his career with the Long Island Rough Riders before embarking on stints with the New York Red Bulls, Houston Dynamo and now St. Louis City.
13 Sergio Busquets
Barcelona icon Sergio Busquets has sneaked into the top 13 ranked players after signing with Inter Miami earlier this summer.
He helped The Herons to beat Nashville SC in the 2023 Leagues Cup final, thus winning his first title with the club on August 20.
Former West Ham United and Manchester United striker Chicharito has become a household name since joining LA Galaxy in 2020.
In four MLS seasons, he has made 74 appearances and scored a total of 28 goals.
11 Walker Zimmerman
30-year-old Walker Zimmerman just misses out on the top 10 most-sold MLS shirts.
Having played in the league since 2013, the US international began his career at FC Dallas before spending two years at Los Angeles FC. In 2020, he was traded to expansion club Nashville SC.
10 Cristian Roldan
Cristian Roldan is a Seattle Sounders veteran, having made a phenomenal 239 appearances for the MLS club.
At 28, the Californian midfielder is a firm fan favourite and one of three Rave Green players to make the list.
7 Raul Ruidiaz
Peruvian international Raul Ruidiaz has been an integral part of the Seattle Sounders setup since 2018 and has netted 63 MLS goals during his time.
6 Jordan Morris
Missing out on the top 5 is Jordan Morris - Seattle Sounders winger. After forgoing his senior season at Stanford Cardinal, the 28-year-old signed with Seattle Sounders.
Since joining, Morris has made 159 league appearances and also spent time on loan with Swansea City.
5 Carlos Vela
The best-selling Los Angeles FC jersey this season has been 34-year-old Carlos Vela’s.
Former Arsenal and Real Sociedad star, the forward joined LAFC in January 2018. During his time in California, Vela has won the Supporters’ Shield twice and the MLS Cup in 2022.
4 Sebastian Driussi
Attacking midfielder and Austin FC representative Sebastian Driussi has the fourth bestselling MLS shirt this season.
The 27-year-old midfielder joined The Verde in 2021 after spending time at both River Plate and Zenit Saint Petersburg.
1 Lionel Messi
No surprises, Lionel Messi has the top-selling MLS shirt this year. The World Cup winner signed for The Herons earlier this summer and has since scored 11 goals in 12 appearances.
3 Hany Mukhtar
Nashville SC star Hany Mukhtar has sold the third most MLS shirts between January and September.
After four seasons in the MLS, the 28-year-old has wracked up an impressive 103 appearances for the Boys in Gold and has scored 56 goals in the process.
2 Joao Klauss
Coming second in the rankings list is 26-year-old Joao Klauss. Impressively, the Brazilian only made his MLS debut this year and has since made 16 appearances for St. Louis City.
9 Eduward Lowen
Olympian Eduward Lowen signed with St. Louis City in SC in June 2022 to join the second team before upgrading to the first in the 2023 season.
Since being promoted, the midfielder has netted six goals in all competitions and has made a total of 18 appearances for Bradley Carnell’s team.
8 Thiago Almada
The eighth top-selling shirt this MLS year has been Atlanta United’s Thiago Almada.
In two seasons, the World Cup winner has made a total of 50 league appearances for The Five Stripes and has previously been awarded MLS Newcomer of the Year.