When it comes to team sports, there is no other sporting event that generates more bills than football. The gate receipts, sponsorships, prize money and the ever-increasing broadcasting rights deals are evident enough to conclude there’s a healthy flow of money in football. The clubs in the Major leagues are raking in hundreds of millions and the players benefit from the financial might of their club.
The Top 5 leagues in Europe bring in a revenue of €6.3 Billion every season on current terms. Even the legendary Scrooge McDuck will be envious to have a piece of this motherlode. But no, only the elite few can. And that brings us to this Top 10 list of Highest Paid Footballers.
10. Oscar (€24 Million)
[Image Source: express.co.uk]
Chelsea was a formidable opponent in all of Europe when Oscar was dazzling with his attacking prowess. The four-pronged attack of Diego Costa, Eden Hazard, Willian and Oscar could split open any defence. Oscar’s clever runs, incisive passes, dead ball skills made any opponent regret not having a plan to contain him. That is until he made the move to CSL club Shanghai SIPG.
Lots of eyebrows were raised when this move happened, as Oscar was just 25. His move to CSL made him one of the highest-earning athletes, pocketing €24 Million per year. His memory is fading away from the public eye and losing his spot on the Brazilian team did him no good. He is 28 and entering his prime years as a footballer, his return to Europe would be a joy to behold.
9. Alexis Sanchez (€25 Million)
[Image Source: express.co.uk]
Manchester United can never truly get rid of Alexis Sanchez from their books. Of course, he is on loan in Inter Milan, but Manchester United have to empty their pockets every time they have to send a paycheck to Alexis Sanchez, even though his wages are shared by both the clubs.
Whether its lack of effort from Sanchez or its all down to United’s poor transfer decision, it never worked out for the Chilean at Old Trafford. His move to Manchester United was quite a scandal as he rejected a move to Manchester City, who went on to lift eight more trophies, and joined United on a 5-year contract with an annual wage of €25 Million, bringing him to 9th on the list.
8. Andrés Iniesta (€27 Million)
[Image Source: Sport.news.am]
No amount of words would do justice to the stellar career he had in football. He rose from the Blaugrana academy to elite football and spent 17 long years at Barcelona raking in 35 major trophies, including 2010 World cup with Spain, and individual honours that most athletes can only dream.
If anyone deserves to step back a little and enjoy the cruise mode, it’s Iniesta. He made that move in 2018 by signing with the Japanese club Vissel Kobe. His wages sum up to €27 Million a season. A true legend of the game who shared his spotlight with his peers. It’s a scandal Iniesta never won a Ballon d’Or, making individual honours just a sham.
7. Gareth Bale (€28 Million)
[Image Source: The Olive Press]
Gareth Bale is a footballer by trade and passion, don’t get hoodwinked by the picture above. All anyone has to do is to rewind to his good old days, tearing apart the entire Premier League, or less recent times when he bagged the Copa del Rey with his blistering solo run down the left flank, rolling the ball into the back of the net or more recently when he made Loris Karius look like a mannequin with his wonder strikes to win the Champions League.
Real Madrid and Bale’s sponsors, which includes Konami and Adidas, are sending the Welsh a monthly payslip of €2.3M taking the tally to €28 Million annually. Zidane and the club are mustering all their might to push him away, but Bale is impregnable as he embraces his priorities “Wales, Golf, Madrid. In that order”. His move to CSL fell apart, which would have rocketed him to the top 3 on this list with €1 Million per week wage.
6. Eden Hazard (€28.5 Million)
[Image Source: Onefootball.com]
The Belgian made his dream move to his dream club to play under his football idol, Zidane. And that’s where the swan song ends. Real Madrid made several transfers to mount a title charge against Barcelona in the Spanish League. Eden Hazard was to spearhead this campaign. It didn’t take the footballing world to realise that all the spearhead in question can do is poke. This is not Thorgan Hazard in disguise, this is the same Hazard that terrorized the Premier League with his dribbling, changing the course of the game at his whims.
Real Madrid gave a long term deal with a monthly wage of a little more than €2.3 Million worthy of the antics he displayed in his Chelsea blues with an annual total of €28.5 Million. Everything about this dream move has slowly dissolved and reformed as a nightmare for everyone involved.
5. Luis Suarez (€34 Million)
[Image Source: metro.co.uk]
The Uruguayan is considered a renegade outlaw in the world of football by fellow peers, pundits and fans. Yet all of them would be ecstatic to have him in their club. Exactly the reason why Barcelona acquired his services in 2014. Suarez brought in a much needed physical dominance to an already breathtaking attack of Neymar and Messi. The El Pistolero can bang in all sorts of goals and torments even the best of defenders.
Since then he has renewed his contract with the Catalan club, taking home €34 Million a year, just under €3 Million a month. Luis Suarez is considered one of the technically gifted No.9 of his era. Not many are considered a threat when Messi is on the pitch, that is how much Suarez can hurt an opposition.
4. Neymar Jr. (€35 Million)
[Image Source: talksport.com]
It's a little more than what the next in line earns. And Neymar’s move to PSG in 2017 made him the one highest-paid player with an astronomical wage bill of €35 Million a year. Neymar believed he’d shine once he’s away from the shadows of Messi, he was clearly mistaken as unsettled is the only word to define his time at PSG.
The Brasilian’s move from Nou Camp to Parc Des Princes broke football in financial terms. His transfer fee of €222 Million emboldened other clubs to put insane price tags on their talents and players demanding more wages from their clubs.
Football transfers are never the same after the Neymar deal. It’s safe to refer to transfers as Pre-Neymar and Post-Neymar.
3. Antoine Griezmann (€38 Million)
[Image Source: Dailymail.co.uk]
The Cover boy of Atletico Madrid made an ambitious move in the summer of 2019 to Nou Camp, making a switch from one rival of Real Madrid to the other. This move was hoped to change the fortunes of Barcelona, yet he couldn’t replicate his performance on the pitch.
Nonetheless, he broke into the top 3, a result of the aforementioned move, with a reported payout of €38 Million a year. His long term contract ensures he will bank more than €190 Million before his contract expires, no matter how bleak his performance on the pitch is.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (€54 Million)
[Image Source: skysports.com]
If Ronaldo’s endorsements, fashion products are brought into account, he’d be at the top of this list as it brings the tally to above €100 Million a year. When accounting only the Money from football and its associated sponsors, Cristiano Ronaldo makes €4.5 Million per month.
Juventus made Ronaldo the highest-paid footballer ever in Serie A after Ronaldo himself denied Juventus twice in a row in their pursuit of a Champions League trophy. Thanks to the generosity and desperation of Juventus, Ronaldo gets to bank €54 annually.
The influence and persona of the 35 year old Portuguese on and off the pitch ensure his annual income is ever rising. His move to Juventus was a commercial success as the club made €54 Million within 24 hours by selling CR7 Jersey.
1. Lionel Messi (€96 Million)
[Image Source: 90min.com]
The Argentine slightly edges ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the top spot thanks to his earnings of cosmic proportions, which amounts to €96 Million a season, made possible by the departure of Neymar Jr. to PSG.
Before Neymar’s move to PSG, Neymar was earning €300K. His departure freed up Barcelona’s ledger by a huge margin and what did they decide to do with it? Renewed contract with Messi by sliding him a whopping €8 Million a month deal.
The 32-year-old won his 6th Ballon D’or this year stealing it away from the fan favourite Virgil Van Dijk., His crucial contributions to the game and his elegance on the pitch will keep The Magician at the top of this list until he decides to retire from football.
Here is the List of Top 10 Highest Paid Football Players in The World.
9. Alexis Sanchez
8. Andrés Iniesta
7. Gareth Bale
6. Eden Hazard
5. Luis Suarez
4. Neymar Jr.
3. Antoine Griezmann
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
1. Lionel Messi
- By VISHANTH FASTINO