YOU could assume Lionel Messi is a sensation in the US.
Or you could buy a ticket to see his Inter-Miami debut for the price of one.
Some fans are paying US$110,000 (£84,000) to see Messi at home against Mexican side Cruz Azul in the first round of the 2023 League Cup on Friday.
David Beckham’s signing of the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner from PSG on a free transfer is Major League Soccer’s biggest coup of all time.
And it could mean the sport’s biggest hit to the bank balances of some super-wealthy supporters.
The average ticket price on Friday is $487 (£352), but a survey by CNN business of ticketing website Vivid Seats discovered that fans were shelling out the equivalent of two years’ salary for a typical American for just one ticket.
Instead of spending £84k to see Argentinian world champion Messi, what could you buy instead?
If you’re one of those people who would rather feel safe and secure than excited and awestruck, you could fund a full year of private security to begin with.
Additionally, you can throw in a mid-range Rolex watch with the spare change to ensure your personal security guard arrives on time.
But what about the “classic” big expenses – home, super car and vacation?
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The price of a ticket goes a long way — and for a long time, if you fancy a cruise.
You could join heavyweight legend Tyson Fury as a resident of Morecambe on the north west coast of England.
The cheapest places to buy a home in the UK include Middlesbrough with an average price of £55,000, Bradford at £59,000 and Sunderland at £65,000.
However, if you’re looking for a one-bedroom house which, in what estate agents say, is ‘close to stunning views of the bay’, we’ve found a pair on the market in Morecambe for around £81,000.
‘Near’ must be the bare truth in this case as the ‘Victorian terraced house’ is on Park Street, BARE.
On the other hand, if you prefer a car to cruise the boardwalk – or zoom down Miami’s famous Route 66 to buy an AVERAGE-PRICE ticket for Inter – how about a BMW M4 Convertible?
You’d get the same fresh air in the face as if you’d paid the same sum of £84,000 for the top ticket.
AND you could probably continue with that well beyond the remainder of the 36-year-old Messi’s playing days.
You’d just have to bargain down the asking price of £89,000 – or perhaps save money with the £83,000 BMW 4 Series Coupe.
Of course, if you spend the money from a luxury buy to see Messi, you might come to the conclusion that the alternative should also be an opulent treat.
For a similar amount of effort, you could travel around the world on a first-class cruise for a football season – that is, nine months.
Royal Caribbean offers a 274-night voyage with 150 glamorous stops around the globe.
For around £64,000 you can get a ‘Balcony Stateroom’ for one person – which, as we all know, far outstrips an ‘Inside Stateroom’ (£46,000) and even a ‘Sea View Stateroom’ (£50,000).
Taxes, fees and port charges are an additional £4,000.
That leaves you with a paltry £16,000 in pocket money for nine months… unless you’ve “kicked the boat” to pay over £90,000 for a junior suite.
A home by the sea, a supercar, a nine-month luxury cruise, or a ticket to see Messi in Miami?
As the big man himself must have thought as he turned down hundreds of millions in Saudi Arabia in favor of a move to Becks, it’s a tough decision, but someone has to make it.