See how much the top 20 soccer stars earn

For years, football has been a sport awash with money. Many awesome pieces of writing and learning exist about how football has changed.

It’s gone from a game for the people, to a game for the private companies and governments. While once football clubs were owned by their communities and were reliant on their own income, such as gate money, to survive, today things have changed.

Most of the major football clubs in the world now stand out entirely from their previous size and scale. They are operative giants, bringing in hundreds of millions in revenue from broadcasting, sponsorship, prize money and other sources. Since these clubs are reliant on their star turns – the footballers themselves – to make it big, though, it’s only natural that the players are rewarded for their skills.

Who, then, are some of the most highly paid players in the world?

We’ve broken down the twenty highest earning football players in the world, courtesy of Findbettingsites. This new infographic shows us exactly just who is bringing in the big bucks from the beautiful game. Be warned: some of the names on this list will very much shock you!

Who are the top 20 highest earners in football?

  1. Lionel Messi. The genius has become arguably the best player of all-time, ensuring that his legacy is one that will never be forgotten, bringing in around $110m/year for his trouble.

  2. Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese goal-getter recently made the move from Madrid to Turin, and in the process ensured he would be walking away with a reported annual salary of $107m – an eye-watering sum of money for someone who guarantees goals.

  3. Neymar Jr. The Paris Saint-Germain star, at around $89m per year is among the highest paid players on the planet. Dazzling skill and a confrontational attitude help to make sure that Neymar stands out as the posterboy for a more individualistic generation of players.

  4. Gareth Bale. As a testament to hard work and rising through hype, Bale is the perfect example of where hard work and perseverance will get you. He earns around $34m per year from his Real Madrid contract, it is estimated.

  5. Paul Pogba. The Manchester United star is one of the biggest names in football, and it is easy to see why. The World Cup winner is reported to pull in around $29.4m per year from United.

  6. Oscar. Ex-Chelsea startlet Oscar made a high profile move to the Chinese Super League, and since he arrived has been pulling in around $27m for his troubles. A star for Brazil once upon a time, today his earnings are his most significant contribution to football.

  7. Wayne Rooney. Former Manchester United and Everton legend Wayne Rooney was, when he was at Everton, reported to be on around $26m per year. While his DC United wages are likely lower, he’s very well-paid.

  8. Luis Suarez. Uruguay and Barcelona legend Luis Suarez is said to earn a cool $26.8m per year from the Catalan giants, further cementing his legacy as one of the most interesting players of his generation – and one of the highest paid!

  9. Sergio Aguero. Manchester City hero ‘Kun’ Aguero is surprisingly low down the list, as the highest earner at Man City. He brings in around $23m per year, which is quite low given the reputation of City as an ‘oil team’.

  10. Angel di Maria. Ex-Real Madrid and Benfica man Angel di Maria made the move to Paris after a dismal year in Manchester. An impressive $22m per year salary, and the chance to live in Paris, may have swung that decision.

  11. Kylian Mbappe. Few teenagers make the global impact that Mbappe has, and his $22m/year salary is probably just the start for a player many believe will become the best in the world when the Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo era ends.

  12. Thiago Silva. PSG teammate Thiago Silva might earn less than Mbappe, but his importance to PSG can never be denied. His $22m per year salary says a lot for a player who’s become essential to the PSG project.

  13. James Rodriguez. The star face of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Colombian star James Rodriguez made an interesting move to Bayern Munich and is among the top players in the Bundesliga. On around $22m per year, though, matching his wages may be tough for the Bavarians.

  14. Graziano Pelle. Another Chinese Super League buy, Pelle pulls in around $22m per year after moving to Shandong Luneng from Southampton. The aggressive and hard working striker was an excellent player for several years in England.

  15. Hulk. Aptly named for his likeness to Lou Ferrigno, Brazilian star Hulk has enjoyed a wonderful career. Playing for storied clubs like FC Porto and Tokyo Verdy, he now plays out in Brazil with Shanghai SIPG, earning a cool $21m for his troubles.

  16. Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish legend pulls in around $20m per year from his contract with the LA Galaxy, meaning the old legend is still easily among the highest paid on the planet.

  17. Gerard Pique. A rare defender on this list, FC Barcelona icon Gerard Pique has been a major part of the FCB story and his massive $20m salary geos some way to showing the importance in which he is held at his hometown club.

  18. Antoine Griezmann. Loyalty is rare in football, but the loyalty that Antoine Griezmann has shown to Atletico Madrid is great to see. On around $19.5m per year, though, it’s easy to see why he might find it easy to stick around!

  19. Yaya Toure. While currently contractless after leaving Olympiakos, Yaya Toure was among the most impressive names in football and, when he was at Manchester City was on around $19.5m per year.

  20. Edinson Cavani. Often maligned for big moment misses, Edinson Cavani was easily among the most impressive strikers of the 2018 World Cup. On around $19.45m per year, this could be his last year in Paris, where he has become a PSG legend by becoming their all-time top goal scorer.

Statistics taken from: