Global football stars earn some of the highest wages in the world. We’ve listed the top 10 footballers based on how much they are paid.
Commercial and broadcast revenues are at an all time high right now and they are more important than ever to clubs, to enable them to compete financially to put the best talent on the pitch. Endorsement deals; money paid to stars for endorsing a product like a football boot or mobile telephone, continue to increase with brands desperate to associate with the footballer.
So which players take home the most? Read on to see who made the cut…
10. Luis Suarez – £13m
Despite being banned for nibbling on Chiellini, his third biting incident, Luis Suarez is still able to command a hefty income from his boot supplier adidas.
Add to that a top contract with Barcelona and it’s no surprise that the Uruguayan is in the Top 10.
9. Sergio Aguero – £16m
Sergio Aguero, nicknamed Kun Aguero is one of the most talented ‘out and out’ goalscorers in the world.
Since 2011 he has been plying his trade at Manchester City with a very healthy salary. He’s one of Puma football’s main athlete’s, headlining the evoSPEED football boot and he’s also a face for Gillette and Pepsi.
Despite suffering to find form last season at Manchester United and some doubting his fitness following a serious knee injury, the Chelsea striker will be happy about his financial affairs.
Like Aguero he is a Puma athlete and recently signed a five year deal with the German sportswear brand.
7. Wayne Rooney – £17m
The new clean cut Wayne Rooney is more marketable that the scandal hit one of a few years ago. Rooney lost sponsorship deals due to his off field antics, but now the England and Manchester United captain is a coining it in.
In 2014 he signed a new club contract, he has a huge Nike deal and is also close to completing a book contract with Harper Collins.
6. James Rodriguez – £19m
Rodriguez shot to fame during the 2014 World Cup where he won the Golden Boot. Real Madrid snapped him up shortly afterwards, paying £63M to Monaco for his services.
In the adidas stable, James is also tied up to Gatorade and has his own line of underwear.
5. Neymar – £20m
Brazil’s main man Neymar has silenced critics and proved his talent at both club and international level.
Highly marketable, Neymar earns more from product endorsements than at Barcelona and that’s saying something!
Don’t forget, Neymar is yet to peak so is forecast to continue rising in this chart.
4. Gareth Bale £22m
The man from Cardiff, Wales has had a meteoric rise since being a left back for Southampton in 2007.
Bale is one of the leading faces at adidas and BT football, but it’s his salary which nets him the majority of his income.
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – £25m
The big Swede leads with two major sponsors: Nike and Volvo. He appears regularly and globally for both.
On the field, he is the first player for over 20 years to exceed 30 goals in one season in the French league, this despite him being at the tail end of his career. Destined for the MLS, Zlatan is likely to have at least one more major pay day.
2. Lionel Messi £47m
Many pick the little Argentine as the best player in modern football. Whilst his financial figures would support this, he has been pipped to the post by you know who.
Messi is the highest earner at Barcelona with an annual salary exceeding £33m. Deals with Pepsi, Samsung and of course his own football boot silo with adidas place Leo in the elite category of money makers in football.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo £51m
Whilst the debate will rage on regarding who is the better player, we can tell you that Cristiano Ronaldo is the better paid.
The Real Madrid star is the highest paid footballer in the world banking over £50 million last year.
Ronaldo is also the most popular athlete in the world, if you go by social media. His Facebook and Twitter following eclipses that of all other footballers.
CR7 has a long term agreement with Nike, a signature CR7 line of clothing and a whopper deal with Castrol amongst many others.
Ronaldo also has a unique level of control over his image rights, splitting them 60/40 with the club (the benchmark is 50/50) – when you consider the size of the Real Madrid brand across the globe, that extra 10% is likely measured in millions.
World’s Highest Paid Footballers 2011:
10. Philip Lahm (Bayern Munich / Germany) £11.9m
9. Kaka (Real Madrid / Brazil) £12.9m
8. Fernando Torres (Spain / Chelsea) £13.9m
7. Yaya Toure (Man City / Ivory Coast) £14.7m
6. Sergio Aguero (Man City / Argentina) £15.7m
5. Wayne Rooney (England / Man United) £17.2m
4. Samuel Eto’o (Anzhi / Cameroon) £19.4m
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid / Portugal) £24.3m
2. David Beckham (England / LA Galaxy) £26.2m
1. Lionel Messi (Argentina / Barcelona) £27.5m
World’s Highest Paid Footballers 2010:
10. Samuel Eto’o (Inter Milan, Cameroon) £9m
9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan, Sweden) £10.2m
8. Frank Lampard (Chelsea, England) £10.2m
7. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United, England) £12m
6. Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls, France) £12.6m
5. Ronaldinho (Flamengo, Brazil) £14.4m
4. Kaka (Real Madrid, Brazil) £14.4m
3. Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Argentina) £19.3m
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, Portugal) £22.9m
1. David Beckham (LA Galaxy, England) £24.1m
World’s Highest Paid Footballers 2007:
10. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool & England) £7.7 million
9. John Terry (Chelsea & England) £7.7 million
8. Fabio Cannvaro (Real Madrid & Italy) £7.9 million
7. Zinedine Zidane (Retired) £8.5 million
6. Thierry Henry (Barcelona & France) £8.6 million
5. Michael Ballack (Chelsea & Germany) £9.1 million
4. Wayne Rooney (Man Utd & England) £9.3 million
3. Ronaldo (AC Milan & Brazil) £12.7 million
2. David Beckham (LA Galaxy & England) £15.8 million
1. Ronaldinho (Barcelona & Brazil) £16 million
Source: France Football
What do you think of the trend in footballers earnings? Are the highest paid footballers who you expected? Drop us a comment below and weigh into the discussion!