Cristiano Ronaldo shocked Al-Nassr in December with a gigantic contract unprecedented in history. He became the highest paid footballer in the world. But what is the ranking of the Top 10 highest paid footballers in the world?
10. Kevin de Bruyne – Manchester City – $29 million per year
One of the best midfielders in the world at the moment and Manchester City’s most important player in recent years. It’s about time he got the contract he deserves for his services. At the same time, he is also the third highest paid player in the Premier League.
9. Andrés Iniesta – Vissel Kobe – $30 million per year
A pretty surprising name to a lot of people. Andrés Iniesta disappeared from European turf back in 2018, but thanks to a huge contract in Japan, the 38-year-old is still among the highest paid players in the world. He’s now curling for Vissel Kobe in his fifth season.
8. Eden Hazard – Real Madrid – $31 million per year
Proof that the highest paid players in the world don’t mean the best. Eden Hazard came to Real Madrid with the hallmark of being the best player in the Premier League, that’s why he got that salary. But his engagement at the Santiago Bernabéu has been a fiasco, with fans hailing it as the worst transfer in the club’s history.
7. Robert Lewandowski – Barcelona – $35 million per year
The Polish midfielder switched clubs after 10 years this summer when he swapped Bayern Munich for Barcelona. He has long been one of the best strikers in the world and his salary is justified.
6. Erling Haaland – Manchester City – $39 million per year
A sensation who is tearing the Premier League apart. Haaland is not only the future of world football, at the same time the Citizens saved quite a bit on his purchase thanks to a relatively low buyout clause (€65 million) and could add to his salary. The Norwegian striker is paying off his salary with 25 league goals in 19 games.
5. Mohamed Salah – Liverpool – $53 million per year
From fifth place onwards, we’re already rising in amounts and crossing the $50 million per year mark. That’s the salary Liverpool star Mohamed Salah, one of the best Premier League players of recent years, receives.
4. Neymar – PSG – $87 million a year
As we move on to PSG, who reign the 4-2 positions, these amounts might make your head spin. Brazilian footballer Neymar is earning $87 million per year at PSG, and that’s while he’s only the third highest paid player on the team.
3. Lionel Messi – PSG – $120 million per year
The third highest paid player in the world is Lionel Messi. The Argentine footballer came from Barcelona for free, so PSG had to lure him on a big salary. Messi receives $120 million per year, with “only” $65 million in the salary and bonuses column, with another $55 accruing to Messi for advertising rights.
2. Kylian Mbappé – PSG – $128 million per year
Mbappé’s contract was absolutely astronomical and unthinkable as recently as last summer, until Saudi Al-Nassr came along. In total, Mbappé may not have that much more than Messi, it’s just that for him the advertising rights make up for it. Mbappé doesn’t have those, as he is not yet the global brand that Messi is, but he does get $110 million a year for his performances on the pitch, which is a decent difference to Messi’s 65.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – Al-Nassr – $260 million per year
Cristiano Ronaldo is responsible for the biggest football contract ever. And it has to be said, deservedly so, as when it comes to sportsmanship, there will be a constant debate between Ronaldo and Messi, however, when it comes to global branding and advertising, the Portuguese reigns supreme.
Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia receives 260 million dollars a year, 200 for football performance, 60 for advertising rights. Hard to know if anyone will ever get a bigger contract.
Source: Statista, Transfermarkt
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