As a highly popular sport worldwide, football has contributed immensely over the years to making its players earn hefty paychecks. Every year brings new top players who are amongst the highest paid footballers in the world. This year has already recorded a lot of shakeups in the top 10 list of highest-paid football players. Hence, it’s imperative to break down these players to understand how they earned their spot on the highest-paid list.
1. Lionel Messi – Paris Saint-Germain – $126 million
Lionel Messi tops the list of the highest-paid football players for the year, with an impressive earning of $126 million. Messi, who was a renowned player for Barcelona, made a significant move to PSG. The transfer itself wasn’t a significant factor in Messi’s earning, but rather the structure of the contract.
Messi signed a two-year deal, which includes the option to extend for a third year. The contract is reportedly worth $41 million annually, with a $30 million signing bonus plus $65 million in bonuses and image rights.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United – $117 million
Cristiano Ronaldo comes in as the second-highest-paid football player for the year with earnings of $117 million. Ronaldo left Juventus and returned to Manchester United, where he has previously played from 2003 to 2009.
Ronaldo’s earning comes from his reported $70 million annual salary, combined with his numerous endorsement deals with brands like Nike, Herbalife, and American Tourister.
3. Neymar – Paris Saint-Germain – $96 million
Neymar is third on the list of highest-paid football players globally, with earnings of $96 million. Neymar signed a five-year deal with PSG back in 2017, which could pay him a total of $600 million if he stays throughout the entire contract.
Neymar’s earning comes majorly from his annual salary of $78 million, plus numerous endorsement deals with brands like PUMA, Gillette, and Red Bull.
4. Kylian Mbappé – Paris Saint-Germain – $43.8 million
Kylian Mbappé is the fourth highest-paid football player with earnings of $43.8 million. Mbappé is one of PSG’s main stars, and he is continually breaking Barriers within the football world.
Mbappé earns $28.3 million annually from his PSG salary, with an additional $15.5 million from endorsement deals with brands like Nike, Hublot, and EA Sports. He is continuously breaking records academically, which means better expectations in terms of earnings, should he continue shining.
5. Mohamed Salah – Liverpool – $39 million
Mohamed Salah is the fifth highest-paid football player globally, with earnings of $39 million. Salah is renowned for his goal-scoring records, and he’s been attracting big brand endorsements in the process.
Salah’s earning comes majorly from his $25.1 million annual salary at Liverpool, plus $13.9 million from endorsements. His endorsements include Coca-Cola, Adidas, and Vodafone.
6. Paul Pogba – Manchester United – $34 million
Paul Pogba takes the sixth spot on the list of highest-paid football players, with earnings of $34 million. Pogba’s career at Manchester United has been up and down, but he still remains one of Manchester United’s main players.
Pogba earns $28.6 million annually from his Manchester United contract and an additional $5.4 million from endorsement deals with brands like Adidas and Pepsi.
7. Antoine Griezmann – Barcelona – $33 million
Antoine Griezmann is seventh on the list of highest-paid football players in the world, with earnings of $33 million. Barcelona signed Griezmann from Atletico Madrid in 2019 in a deal worth $135 million.
Griezmann earns $28 million annually from his Barcelona salary and an additional $5 million from his endorsement deals with brands like Puma and Gillette.
8. Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich – $29 million
Robert Lewandowski is the eighth highest-paid football player in the world with earnings of $29 million. Lewandowski has played an essential role in Bayern Munich’s success, consistently scoring goals, and breaking records.
Lewandowski earns $23 million annually from his Bayern Munich contract and an additional $6 million from his endorsement deals with brands like Nike and EA Sports.
9. Gareth Bale – Real Madrid – $25.5 million
Gareth Bale is the ninth highest-paid football player in the world, with earnings of $25.5 million. Bale has had a difficult time at Real Madrid and has gone on loan twice to Tottenham Hotspur.
Bale earns $22 million annually from his Real Madrid contract and an additional $3.5 million from his endorsement deals with brands like Adidas and Electronic Arts.
10. David De Gea – Manchester United – $25.2 million
David De Gea is the tenth highest-paid football player in the world, with earnings of $25.2 million. De Gea has been an exceptional player for Manchester United, consistently making crucial saves.
De Gea earns $23.9 million annually from his Manchester United contract and an additional $1.3 million from endorsement deals with brands like Adidas and Reebok.
In conclusion, these footballers have worked hard to earn a spot on the highest-paid list. They have consistently showcased their talent and have attracted big endorsements deals in the process. It will be interesting to see if there will be any shakeups in the list next year.