These are the 10 richest, highest-earning footballers on the planet
Being an elite footballer is one of the most lucrative professions in all of sport, with top pros often taking home in excess of $100,000 per week, and much more from sponsorship deals.
But which players make the most money? Every year, magazine France Football publishes a list of the highest earners in football, based on total earnings including salaries and sponsorships last year.
The two greatest players on the planet right now — and arguably of all time — Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are far and away the best paid footballers, each taking home more than $100 million in earnings last year.
Check out which one of them came out on top, as well as the eight other best-paid players in world football, below:
10. Kylian Mbappe — $29.1 million: PSG starlet Mbappe is one of global football’s fastest rising talents, having won a World Cup and several domestic trophies at just 21. He can expect his pay to keep rising.
9. Robert Lewandowski — $31.3 million: Europe’s deadliest finisher, the Polish striker scored 25 Bundesliga goals and 11 goals in just six Champions League games before the football season was halted by the coronavirus outbreak. He supplements his Bayern Munich salary with a lucrative sponsorship deal with Nike.
8. Raheem Sterling — $35.6 million: Since transferring to Manchester City from Liverpool in 2015, Sterling has become the hottest property in English football. He earns around $350,000 per week, topped up by numerous sponsorships, including one with Nike.
7. Andres Iniesta — $36.7 million: After a 22-year career in Spain in which he won a World Cup, four Champions Leagues, and nine La Liga titles, midfielder Iniesta moved to Japanese side Vissel Kobe in 2018, and got a huge pay day, becoming one of world football’s best paid stars, and dominating the Japanese league in the process.
6. Eden Hazard — $41 million: 2019’s biggest transfer, Belgian Hazard moved from Chelsea to Real Madrid for an approximate fee of $157 million, on a rumored $470,000 per week pay packet. He also graced the cover of FIFA 20, the premier football video game.
5. Antoine Griezmann — $41 million: Barcelona star Griezmann, a World Cup winner with France, has sponsorships with companies including Puma, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, and Huawei.
4. Gareth Bale — $41 million: Once the most expensive player in the world, Welshman Bale has fallen out of favor with Real Madrid, but still makes huge money in Spain, supplementing his salary with sponsorships, and Instagram posts that can make $185,000 each.
3. Neymar — $102.5 million: Brazilian Neymar is history’s most expensive footballer, having moved from Barcelona to PSG for $260 million in 2017. He has his own trademarked brand, and huge deals with Nike and Beats.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo — $127.3 million: He may be in the final years of his career, but Juventus star Ronaldo is still one of the biggest draws in world football. Aside from traditional sponsorships, Ronaldo’s earnings come from sources including a museum of his life and a hotel chain.
1. Lionel Messi — $141.3 million: Football’s biggest earner is also its biggest star. Barcelona and Argentina phenom Messi made a base salary of $646,000 per week last season, and that’s before considering his lucrative deals with the likes of Adidas and Pepsi.