Who is the highest-paid soccer player? How much do football players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, Mohamed Salah, and Kylian Mbappe earn in a year?
SportyTell takes a look — read on to find out how much your favorite soccer players made in 12 months ending May 2020.
As of 2020, combined earnings of the world’s top-100 highest-paid athletes make up about $3.6 billion, out of which soccer players account for 14%. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a decline in finances across various sports with players and stakeholders reportedly receiving half-pay, due to the postponed or canceled sporting events. Still, the millions came pouring in, thanks to endorsement and sponsorship deals, which plays a significant role in the wealth amassed by these athletes.
In this article, we’ll review the top-14 highest-paid soccer players in the world based on their total earnings, which include salary/winnings as well as revenues from endorsement deals.
The highest-paid soccer players in the world
* Salaries includes earnings from winnings/bonuses.
14. Sergio Ramos
Salary: $18.8 Million; Endorsements: $3 Million
Sergio Ramos has played a total of 640 games in the colors of Real Madrid since joining the Spanish side in 2005. He has won a total of four La Liga titles, and four UEFA Champions League titles since joining the team. In 2019 a documentary series exploring his life off the pitch titled “The Heart of Sergio Ramos” was released. His current contract, which sees him earned a total of $18.8 million in salaries and winnings, expires in the summer of 2021. Ramos rakes in an additional $3 million on endorsement annually. His sponsors include Anheuser Busch InBev and Nike.
13. Gareth Bale
Salary: $19.7 Million; Endorsements: $5.5 Million
An avid golf-lover who has a replica of the world’s three famous golf holes in his luxury home earns $19.7 million in salary alone annually. Endorsements worth $5.5 million sees Gareth Bale‘s annual earning spike up to a total of $25.5 million. The Real Madrid forward also delve into the eSports business launching his own eSports company, Ellevens Esports.
12. Alexis Sanchez
Salary: $24.6 Million; Endorsements: $1 Million
The former Manchester United forward who is currently on a season-long loan at Inter earns an estimated $500,000 weekly, plus a million-dollar on endorsements to become the twelfth highest-paid soccer player in the world. His total annual earnings are a whopping $25.6 million. Sanchez has a sponsorship deal with the sports giant Nike.
11. David De Gea
Salary: $22.7 Million; Endorsements: $3 Million
The Red Devil’s goalie, David De Gea, became the highest-earning goalkeeper in soccer history with an annual earning of an estimated $23 million after he sealed an extension in his contract that will keep him at Manchester United till 2023. Endorsements also account for $3 million in the Spaniard’s $25.7 million annual income with deals with Adidas and PepsiCo.
10. Antoine Griezmann
Salary: $21.2 Million; Endorsements: $5.5
The French forward, Antoine Griezmann earns a total of 26.7 million annually. His total earnings are boosted by his mouthwatering endorsement deals from footwear maker Puma and Chinese tech company Huawei along with a five-year deal with Spanish champions Barcelona which he signed in the summer of 2019.
9. Oscar Emboaba
Salary: $25.8 Million; Endorsements: $1.7 Million
After his stint at English side Chelsea, which saw him to two Premier League titles, Oscar made a surprise move to the Chinese Super League in 2017. That transfer quadrupled his weekly earnings, and he currently makes a total of $25 million on salary alone. Endorsement deals amounting to $1.7 million put his total earnings on a yearly basis to $27.5 million. Oscar’s major sponsor is the sportswear manufacturer, Adidas.
8. Paul Pogba
Salary: $23 Million; Endorsements: $5.5 Million
A return to his youth club Manchester United in 2016 for a then-record transfer fee of $120 million in 2016, earn the French midfielder the eighth highest-earning footballer on the planet. Paul Pogba‘s five-year contract with the Red Devils sees him receive about $23 million annually plus endorsements worth $5.5 million. In total, he earns a whopping $28.5 million. Pogba’s major sponsors include the sportswear manufacturer, Adidas and PepsiCo. He is also involved in charity programmers to provide clean water in Africa.
7. Mesut Ozil
Salary: $23.2 Million; Endorsements: $5.5 Million
An annual earning of over $23 million in his contract clause, keeps Mesut Ozil in Arsenal till 2021. The German skipper has also, business affiliation in the eSports scene been the founder M10 eSports team. Ozil’s endorsement deals worth $5.5 million sees him make a combined sum of $28.7 million per year. Ozil’s sponsors include Adidas, Mercedes-Benz and Beats Electronics.
6. Andres Iniesta
Salary: $26.6 Million; Endorsements: $3 Million
Andres Iniesta enjoyed an excellent football career with Spanish football giant, Barcelona before a move to Japan’s Vissel Kobe in 2018 on a three-year deal. A multi-year deal with Japanese footwear company Asics saw a rise in his fortune. Currently, he earns $26.6 million annually and rakes in $3 million in endorsements. His main sponsors are Asics and Mikakus.
5. Kylian Mbappe
Salary: $20.8 Million; Endorsements: $13 Million
Kylian Mbappe was the youngest to score in a World Cup game and the second-youngest player to score in a World Cup final. He dazzled at the 2018 World Cup where he won the Best Young Player Award and emerged second in the highest goals scorer chart. The French International and the teenage most expensive player in soccer history, with playing time for French champion, Paris Saint-Germain, makes over $20 million on a yearly basis, with endorsements deal summing up to $13 million. In total, he makes a combined $33.8 million in a year. Mbappe is sponsored by EA, Hublot, and Nike.
4. Mohamed Salah
Salary: $23.1 Million; Endorsements: $12 Million
Liverpool ace forward and top goal scorer for the club in two consecutive seasons penned a five-year deal in the summer of 2018 which saw him rise to the peak of his career. Mohamed Salah earns a total of $23.1 million in salary, bonuses, and winnings. An endorsement deal with the Adidas brand and also sponsorships from the likes of DHL International, EA, Vodafone-USD, and ExxonMobil has also added $12 million dollars to his annual income.
3. Neymar Jr
Salary: $70.5 Million; Endorsements: $25 Million
PSG key forward, Neymar Jr, who secured a $263 million move to the Ligue 1 side, which ranks as the most expensive in the history of football transfer, ranks third in the world’s highest-paid soccer players list. Neymar is in the third year of his five-year deal with PSG which will see him receive a combined $350 million in salary.
Neymar who also ranked 4th in the list of the highest-paid athletes in the world for 2020 earned a total of $95.5 million. Salary and winnings account for $70.5 million while his endorsements and sponsorships with Electronic Arts, Beats Electronics, Nike, Gillette, DAZN, Mastercard, Red Bull, and TCL account for $25 million.
2. Lionel Messi
Salary: $72 Million; Endorsements: $32 Million
Despite winning a sixth Ballon d’Or award, making him the only star to win such record numbers of Ballon d’Or, which would have added in bonuses to his yearly income, Lionel Messi lost his title as the highest-paid soccer player in the world to his Portuguese rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.
The reduction in earnings that Messi recorded is a result of a voluntary pay cut he took so as to ensure Barcelona staff get 100% of their salary, during the suspension of the La Liga. Despite that, Messi, who is a walking billboard, and has a lifetime deal with the top sports brand, Adidas, earned $32 million in endorsement earnings from his huge endorsement portfolios. He is also sponsored by Mastercard, Gatorade, Pepsi, Huawei.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Salary: $60 Million; Endorsements: $45 Million
Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo reclaimed his position as the highest-paid soccer player in the world despite earning $4 million less than he did last year. The Portuguese star who made the move to the Serie A side in 2018, from Los Blancos took a pay cut of about $4 million in order to reduce club cost. Ronaldo who ranks as one of the most marketable footballers on the planet earned a whopping $45 million from endorsement deals.
Despite the effects the COVID-19 pandemic had on his earnings, Ronaldo earned a total of $105 million, thus, becoming the first-ever footballer to cross the $1 billion mark in career earnings. CR7 is currently sponsored by Nike, Herbalife, Altice, DAZN, MTG, and Unilever.
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