With approximately 4 billion supporters worldwide, almost half of the world’s population are soccer fans, making it unquestionably the most popular sport in the world. As you might expect, this number of fans makes soccer an incredibly lucrative game, with European soccer alone being worth around $28 billion.
Revenue from matchdays, television broadcasting rights, and sponsorship deals contribute to the huge value of worldwide soccer, with the value of the game only set to increase over the coming years.
Given the huge value of the most popular soccer league, it’s little surprise that the top players in these leagues are paid handsomely for their services. After all, top level soccer players make up a tiny percent of professional players, so their wages are usually justified considering the massive wealth the top clubs have available.
So how much do the top soccer earners actually earn? Let’s take a closer look at the numbers in real time for insight into the top soccer earners:
A Tight Race for the Top Earner Spot
Soccer fans won’t be shocked to hear who the two top soccer earners are, with Lionel Messi being the highest earner and Christiano Ronaldo just behind him in second place. The two forwards are rightfully considered the best players of their generation, while there is also a strong argument of being the greatest of all time, with each player winning five Ballond‘Or awards each.
As research from Betting Sites has shown, Messi earns an incredible $110 million annual while Ronaldo earns $107 million. Broken down into monthly salaries, this works out at $9 million per month for Messi and $8.8 million a month for Ronaldo.
To give these figures even more perspective, Messi makes$12,636.61 every hour, with Ronaldo making $12,295.08 per hour. It’s a close battle for top earner between two of the greatest soccer players ever.
One Team Pays Over $175 Million for Five Players
Paris Saint-Germain are one of the wealthiest teams in club football, as evidenced by the fact they have bought the first and second most expensive players in Neymar Jr. and KylianMbappé. Between both players, PSG spend over $112 million, which is just over what Messi earns himself.
Not resting on their laurels, the French champions have splashed millions on wages for other prominent players like Edison Cavani, Angel Di Maria, and Thiago Silva. When including these players salaries along with Neymar and Mbappé, PSG pay a staggering $ 176,516,391in annual wages – that’s for less than half of their starting 11 players!
Some Players Can Earn More in China Than in Spain
Spain is considered on of the European soccer powerhouses. Home to Barcelona and Real Madrid, two of the world’s most successful and wealth teams, you’d think playing in Spain means a ticket to the highest wages possible.
This is only partially the case
Yes, Messi and Ronaldo have been top earners in the country for years (until Ronaldo’s move to Juventus in Italy) but there are players in China earning more than the top soccer players in Spain.
For example, Brazilian playmaker Oscar currently earns $27 million a year playing for Shanghai SIPG, which is more than Barcelona forward Luis Suarez, who earns $26 million.
Graziano Pelle, a former striker at Southampton with just one league title win in the Netherlands, earns more than Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, who has won over 25 honours including 3 Champions League, 7 Spanish league titles, and a World Cup.