Top Five Highest Paid Football Players
As with everything in life, hard work, consistency are hugely rewarded with monetary compensation. In the world of football, the world’s most popular sport, the sky really is the limit when it comes to player salaries and income. In this article, we take a look at the world’s top five highest-paid football players, according to Forbes. This list was curated with reference to basic player salaries as well as their off-pitch endorsement deals.
Coming in the first place is the Portuguese wonder, Ronaldo. As with old wine, age has got nothing on his pitch performances and definitely not on his paycheck. The Juventus forward has five Ballon D’or awards to his name, making him one short of Lionel Messi’s record. Nevertheless, his reported earnings for the past year from salaries and endorsements total a whopping $105 million. It would be recalled that Ronaldo had signed a lifetime contract with Nike to the tune of $1 billion back in 2014, and this features heavily in his earnings. He also has an endorsement deal with Herbalife and EA sports.
The relentless footballer also has a chain of hotels across Madrid and in his hometown of Madeira, Portugal. He currently holds the record of the most goals scored in the history of the UEFA Champions League with 130 goals and his country’s all-time highest goal scorer. The Portuguese captain has also won national honors, including winning the UEFA European League and the European Championship.
2. Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is an Argentine forward who has taken the world by storm since he made his senior debut for Barcelona back in 2006. Messi, who joined the club at the young age of 13, had gone on to surpass the lofty expectations set for him when he led his teammates to glory at the U-17 World Cup in 2005. He comes just a tad short of Cristiano Ronaldo’s earnings in the past year, raking in $104 million.
Lionel Messi holds the world record for the most Ballon D’or awards, having won the coveted prize six times. He also holds the record for having scored the most goals in a calendar year. A total of 91 goals. Lionel Messi also holds the record for the most goals scored in the Spanish First Division with 433 goals and counting. Undoubtedly one of the greatest football players of all time, his displays and skills have left many calling him “the football god.”
The Argentine playmaker’s income over the past year consists of $72 million in salary and winnings and another $32 million from endorsements. In a similar fashion to his long time rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi has a lifetime contract with sports giant Adidas. Other notable endorsement deals include paid partnerships with smartphone giant Huawei and Pepsi.
3. Neymar Jr
Neymar Da Silva Santos, simply referred to as Neymar, is the world’s third highest-paid player. The Brazilian made headlines when he forced a move to Paris Saint Germain in 2017 and has had an increasingly fatter bank account ever since. Neymar made $95.5 million in the past year and is the only way off Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
As he is fondly called, Neymar Jr is Ligue 1’s highest-paid player, earning a reported £600,000 per week before tax. The Brazilian has won many trophies in his career with Barcelona and PSG. However, he fell short of winning the UEFA Champions League earlier this month.
His endorsement deals include partnerships with Nike, Red Bull, and McDonald’s. Neymar is the first football player to have his own custom Air Jordans made by sportswear giant Nike.
4. Mohammed Salah
A new entry in this year’s list of highest-paid players is Mohammed Salah. The Egyptian wonder has continued to wow fans after making the switch to Anfield some seasons ago. The 27-year-old Liverpool man reportedly earns £200,000 weekly and has several endorsement deals that fetch him a huge pay.
The Egyptian wonder won the English Premier League Golden Boot in 2019 and was instrumental in Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League win. He also holds the Premier League record for the highest number of goals scored in a season, having found the back of the net 32 times in the 2018/19 premier league season.
His consistency on the field of play brought his $35.1 million over the past year. With $23.1 million from his salary and the other $12 million from endorsement deals with companies like drink makers Pepsi, Adidas, and Vodafone Egypt. He also has contracts with Falken Tires and the ride-hailing company, Uber.
5. Kylian Mbappe
French football sensation Kylian Mbappe may be the youngest player on this list, but is hugely talented. The 21-year old broke into the limelight at Monaco, before securing a transfer to Paris Saint Germain. Despite having only been in the game a short while, the youngster has enjoyed a career most footballers would be proud of.
Kylian Mbappe is Ligue 1’s second-highest-paid player, coming behind PSG teammate Neymar. His transfer to PSG also doubles as the second most expensive football transfer of all time. With a reported salary of over £375,000, the french man is amongst football’s most valuable players.
Not many get to conquer the world at a young age, but there was no stopping Mbappe as he powered France to a World Cup triumph back in 2018 when he was just 19 years of age. The Frenchman was part of the PSG side that lost the 2020 UEFA Champions League Final to Bayern earlier this year. Nonetheless, the PSG forward had a blistering year, which saw him rake in $33.8 million. His consistent displays and football acumen have also earned him endorsement deals with Nike and EA Sports, and he is by far a star to watch out for in the coming years.
There you have it, guys, the highest-paid player list according to Forbes. Did your favorite footballer make the cut?