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Highest paid soccer players

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world – it is watched by millions of fans in different countries, and soccer stars are known all over the world. In this review, we will find out who are the highest-paid players of soccer today. More information about soccer players you may find here.

Every year, Forbes magazine ranks the ten highest-paid football players in the world.

Lionel Messi

Former Barcelona striker Lionel Messi ranks first in the most recent list for the third time in a row, earning $ 126 million in 2020.

At the moment, the Argentine footballer is the striker of the Paris Saint-Germain club (until June 2021 he played for the Barcelona club) and the captain of the Argentina national team. He was named the top scorer in the history of the Spanish Championship, Barcelona and Argentina. He also won the Ballon d’Or and the Golden Boot six times.

It is worth noting that in addition to playing football, footballers also earn a lot thanks to advertising projects. Some athletes are brand ambassadors for sportswear, some are in films and advertisements, and some have created their own company, which also helps to make good money. In addition to the salary at the football club, which for Lionel Messi is $ 92 million, he also has numerous sponsorship and advertising contracts – they bring him about $ 34 million a year.

Cristiano Ronaldo

In second place in the Forbes ranking is Juventus striker and Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who earned $ 117 million in 2020.

For a long time, the footballer played for the English club Manchester United, but on July 10, 2021, Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Juventus with a new contract. According to experts, the amount of the transfer of Ronaldo from Manchester United was € 112 million. The current contract with the footballer is designed for four years.

Ronaldo is the top scorer in the history of the national teams, as well as the Spanish club Real Madrid. He was also recognized by the Portuguese Football Federation as the best player in the history of Portuguese football. Cristiano is the first footballer in football history to win the English Premier League, Spanish Example, and Italian Serie A.

As for Ronaldo, he also earns most of his income not from playing football, but from collaborating with global brands and advertising. In 2020, under a contract with the Juventus club, the footballer received a big salary – $ 70 million, and another $ 47 million was brought to him by advertising campaigns and shooting in the media. It is worth noting that until 2018 it was Cristiano Ronaldo who for five years in a row ranked first in the ranking of the highest-paid football players according to Forbes.


In third place in the Forbes ranking is the Brazilian footballer, striker of the French club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazilian national team Neymar. The football player’s income in 2020 was estimated at $ 96 million. At the same time, $ 78 million is his salary in the French football club and $ 18 million in income from advertising and sponsorship projects for the last season.

Neymar signed many contracts in his short career and he is also considered one of the best players in the world, however, compared to the two previous players, the Brazilian striker is still too young, although he is already popular with football fans. And ha has more career goals for the future season.

The list of the highest-paid football players in the world also includes the following names: Gerard Pique (total income – $ 21.7 million), Graziano Pelle (total income – $ 21.7 million), Sergio Ramos (total income – $ 21.9 million), Antoine Griezmann ( total income – $ 27.7 million), Kylian Mbappe (total income – $ 30.6 million), Andres Iniesta (total income – $ 32.5 million), Robert Lewandowski, David de Gea, Paul Pogba, Vissel Kobe, Gareth Bale, Lebron James, and others. According to the media sources, the top queries on the Internet in 2020 were: two-year contract extension of Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United; champions league and Bundesliga player, Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich; Lionel Messi Paris Saint Germain; Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah; European championship; Japanese club Vissel Kobe; Tiger woods; Japanese Super cup; Neymar jr; world’s highest transfer fees for paid soccer; career earnings of Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo; champions league final and others.

Even though the COVID-19 virus has made adjustments to the economy, which also affected football players, football stars remain the richest athletes in the world. Their income includes not only their salaries but also various bonuses from the football club and the national team, prize money, sponsorship agreements, and much more.

Why does football make so much money?

Many people wonder how football clubs make money. First of all, it should be noted that the income of each football player largely depends on the income of the club in which he plays.

The main sources of income for football clubs are
  • Advertising contracts and sale of merchandise. Often companies enter into contracts with a specific club for the right to make football uniforms for the players of that club. Under the terms of the contract, the brand pays the club a certain amount, which is distributed among the players. The football club itself also earns about 5-15% from the sale of equipment. The rest of the share is taken by its manufacturer.
  • In addition, the club also earns from the sale of rights to televise football games. Most often, the profit depends on the rating of the football club or the level of the championship – accordingly, the most famous players bring popularity to the broadcasts of the games in which they play.
  • In addition to broadcasting, football clubs also make money by selling tickets for their matches. This item of income directly depends on the number of tickets sold and matches played, as well as the capacity of the stadium and the cost of tickets. The most famous European clubs have very high ticket prices and play only in large stadiums, respectively, and the profit from this income item is large.
  • Clubs also make a profit for participating in tournaments – everyone strives to play in the European championships. For this, the club receives profit and bonuses for each passage to a new stage. For example, a club can receive an additional 3 million euros for winning a League match.
  • And another important source of income is the sale of players. A club can sell a good player to another club for very good money. In this case, the player also receives his share of the profits.

As such, there are many ways for footballers to make good money – and playing football itself is not the only source of income. The most successful and media personalities can get much more from advertising contracts with world-famous brands.