1. Cristiano Ronaldo, 34, Juventus
|Net Worth||$460 Million|
|Biggest Transfer||€117 Million (Real Madrid to Juventus)|
|Salary Now||€31 Million a Year (Juventus)|
|Salary Before||€23.6 Million a Year (Real Madrid)|
A virtuous player and a dab-hand in branding, Cristiano Ronaldo is not only a mega-talent but also the owner of the brand CR7. He started playing for Manchester United at the fragile age of just 18 years and before long, established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League. With that, his ambition and salary started growing exponentially. Between the years 2008 and 2009 Cristiano Ronaldo became the most desired football player on the planet in every sense of the world. 2009 a record transfer of £80 to Real Madrid took place. Nine years later, another one for the books between Real Madrid and Juventus was finalised. That deal was worth 117 million euro.
As dedicated as the living Portuguese legend is to the game, Ronaldo is also a thriving businessman and entrepreneur. He has a finger in every pie, so to speak. His face is one of the most recognisable things on TV as befits a person this popular. He can be seen in advertisements of Nike, Shoppe and other companies-giants that have little to do with football. Truth be told, Cristiano is also a very charitable person, having a record of donating money for various causes.
2. Lionel Messi, 32, Barcelona
|Net Worth||$400 Million|
|Endorsement Earnings||$30 Million a Year|
|Salary Now||$80 Million a Year (Barcelona)|
|Salary Before||$44.68 Million a Year (Barcelona)|
Who hasn’t heard the name Lionel Messi? Except for those living under a rock of course. The Argentinian phenom changed football forever and quite possibly his life, given that he’s more than set for life. Armchair critics and misinformed sports betting fans believe that he’s an underachiever, while, in fact, the opposite is true. Lionel Messi is the all-time most well-paid footballer for a reason. In the history of football, there was never a time when a player would receive an annual basic salary of $80 million. Football has come a long way it seems, but so did Messi.
Though his heart has always belonged to Barcelona, he wasn’t always so successful. Not to mention the hardship that accompanied his early football years. What’s more, Messi’s performance on a national level has always come in for a lot of criticism. However, he’s still sitting pretty with an estimated net worth of over $400 million. A little known fact (because every effort was made to hush up the story) is that Messi was accused of income tax fraud and even sentenced to serve time in prison. In the end, his 21- month sentence was replaced with a $250, 000 fine – petty cash for the Argentinian.
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 38, LA Galaxy
|Net Worth||$190 Million|
|Biggest Transfer||€69 Million (Inter to FC Barcelona)|
|Salary Now||$35 Million a Year|
|Salary Before||$11 Million a Year (Manchester United)|
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a Swedish football player, who has a full-time commitment to LA Galaxy until December 2019. He’s sitting at an estimated $190 million net worth and an annual salary of $35 million. Despite Ibra’s advanced age, he shows no signs of slowing down as he’s expected to return to Serie A after some time next year. The ill-tempered Swede is doing just fine off the pitch, having Nike and Adidas eating out of his hand. Not that this is by a happenstance. He was and still is one of the best-paid athletes in the world.
He experienced a change of hearts twice switching from Nike boots to Adidas and back to Nike in a single season. That would be a hard proposition bet to nail for those betting on sports online. The Swede is constantly in transition, changing his clubs quite regularly, which is the main reason some of his peers are earning more at their late thirties. So, to answer the question “who is the richest footballer of them all?” – it’s not Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but he’s certainly an honourable mention.
4. Neymar, 27, Paris Saint-Germain
|Net Worth||$185 Million|
|Biggest Transfer||$236 Million (Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain)|
|Salary Now||$53 Million a Year (PSG)|
|Salary Before||$15 Million a Year (Barcelona)|
Brazilian footballer Neymar is currently playing for Paris Saint-Germain under the terms of a five-year contract guaranteeing him $350 million in salary alone. Neymar was on the receiving end of an exorbitant amount of money even during his time in Barcelona, which definitely guarantees a spot in the top ten richest footballers chart. He was part of Pepe Guardiola’s feared team and was paid roughly $15 million a year after taxes. The charismatic Brazilian is big on social media too, with over 200 million followers across the bigger platforms. Don’t get us wrong though, he’s not changing professions soon.
Combined with his endorsements, Neymar is said to earn over $70 million per year. Though Neymar Jr’s main source of revenue remains football, he’s getting paid a hefty $16 million a year by contracts made with Nike, L’Oreal, and Konami. Sadly, a recurring trend in the upper crust of football can also be spotted in the way Neymar handles the personal income tax issue. He suffered a $1.2 million fine in 2016 for allegedly avoiding taxes between 2011 and 2013. Not befitting his amiable personality even the slightest, isn’t it? The truth of the matter can’t be changed though. Does this have anything to do with the Brazilian landing a $119 million deal with Barcelona that same year? We can only guess.
5. Gareth Bale, 30, Real Madrid
|Net Worth||$125 Million|
|Biggest Transfer||£85.3 Million (Tottenham to Real Madrid)|
|Salary Now||$33 Million a Year|
|Salary Before||£7.8 Million a Year (Tottenham)|
Footballer Gareth Bale didn’t let injuries during his Tottenham Hotspur period hold him back from becoming one of the best young players in the Premier League. With a net worth of $125 million and replicas of three of the most famous golf holes in his backyard, Bale is rightly considered one of the richest footballers in the world. Hailing from Wales, he’s a dab hand at sports in general, having tried rugby, track, field, and hockey in his junior years. His career started picking up when he was recruited by Tottenham.
Gareth Bale was a dominant force in the Premier League for quite a while, but a tempting offer from Real Madrid had him switch sides. He’s currently earning a reported £600,000 a week and says he’s more than happy to stay in the club. In 2016 The Welsh signed an extension to his contract with Real Madrid to guarantee himself a $33 million in salary and bonus per year according to Forbes. The football star is still playing for the club from Madrid, but his future in the team is uncertain, to say the least. But that’s not the end of the road for the 30-year-old, having Adidas as his main sponsor and a solid offer from his former club Tottenham. Spurs representatives made it clear that the club can only match up to 50% of what Bale is getting paid currently, which is a modest £300, 000 a week.
6. Paul Pogba, 26, Manchester United
|Net Worth||$85 Million|
|Biggest Transfer||$120 Million (Juventus to Manchester United)|
|Salary Now||£15.08 Million a Year (Manchester United)|
|Salary Before||€4.5 Million a Year (Juventus)|
Pogba boasts a staggering $85 million net worth, a 2018 World Cup and a guaranteed spot in the starting lineup of Manchester United. Sounds almost too good to be true, but that’s the reality for the 26-year old Frenchman. He struggled to get his foot in the door when he first came in United. The fact though, that coach Jose Mourinho was fired over refusing to get along with Pogba is indicative of how the Frenchman’s reputation precedes him. Currently based in Manchester, England, Paul Pogba is slowly coming into his own. The results needed to back that claim are there.
An annual salary of $29 million and $4 million in endorsements are certainly helpful. So too are the conditions of the 2016 contract that saw Pogba leaving Juventus to play for Manchester United. The record, at the time, deal had United pay $120 million in fees. Unlike his richer peers, there’s no record of tax money sticking to the Frenchman’s fingers. Other feathers in the cap of Paul are the Golden Boy award for the best under 21 player in Europe for 2013 and a reserved national team spot since 2008.
7. Sergio Ramos, 32, Real Madrid
|Net Worth||$80 Million|
|Biggest Transfer||€27 Million (Sevilla FC to Real Madrid)|
|Salary Now||$25.5 Million a Year|
|Salary Before||£11 Million a Year (Sevilla FC)|
There’s sufficient proof that Sergio Ramos is one of the richest football players in the world. He has the net worth and the annual salary to back the claim. His net worth amounts to $80 million, while his salary is just shy of $26 million. The numbers show that Ramos plays a central role in the team of Real Madrid. Not only that, he’s the one in charge in Spain’s National Team as well. The current market price of Ramos sits at €25 million, while the all-time high is considered to be around €50 million. Sergio Ramos has won various accolades in his career.
One of his most impressive achievements are being the youngest player in the last 55 years to earn a spot in the national team of Spain. His name was included in the UEFA Team of the Year. Arguably, the pinnacle of his career is 2017 when Ramos was chosen for Best Defender 2017. Not much is known about Ramos’ alternative sources of revenue, but one thing is for sure – with a salary of $25.5 million a year, he is one of the wealthiest football players at present.
8. Sergio Aguero, 31, Manchester City
|Net Worth||$80 Million|
|Biggest Transfer||$60 Million (Atletico Madrid to Manchester City)|
|Salary Now||$23.5 Million a Year|
|Salary Before||€5 Million a Year (in Atletico Madrid)|
Sergio Aguero is yet another Argentinian who has made it to our top 10 richest footballers list. Through his startling career in Manchester City, he managed to amass a net worth of $80 million. By virtue of a prolific career, his salary climbed up to the mind-boggling $23.5 million per year. Not that he was doing any worse in Atletico Madrid, but his salary of €5 million back then pales in comparison to what he’s making now. Presently, he earns more than back in Atletico, which is still less than what he used to earn back in his golden years in Manchester City. Everything he touches turns to gold.
For his 200th goal for Manchester City, Aguero was given a pair of golden boots by his main sponsor Puma. Puma and PepsiCo are the Argentinian’s long-term sponsors as of now, and there’s no sign of this changing soon. The same can’t be said about Aguero’s club. In an official announcement, he confirmed that he’ll be leaving the Blues in June 2020. The terms and conditions of his future contract are still unknown.
9. Mohamed Salah, 27, Liverpool
|Net Worth||$70 Million|
|Biggest Transfer||€42 Million (AS Roma to Liverpool)|
|Salary Now||$25 Million a Year|
|Salary Before||€9 Million a Year (in Roma)|
Mohamed Salah is one of the richest footballers presently. As of now, he is bound by a five-year contract with Liverpool whereby raking in over $15 million a year – a combined total of salary and bonus money. Making over 9 million in endorsements from other sources, he nets over $25 million a year. With that rate is no wonder that his net worth is estimated at $70 million. The Egyptian has a Premier League Player of the Month and several records under his belt. He’s also promoting tolerance and is considered one of the most charismatic players in the Premier League.
Salah is a top choice for a public face of several company-giants, including Adidas, Electronic Arts, and Uber. A bright example is Adidas’ Adicolor line of sportswear, which the Egyptian started advertising in a 2019 campaign. The, still young, footballer has come a long way since his El Mokawloon years, and his bank account is expected to keep growing in the years to come.
10. Coutinho, 27, Bayern Munich
|Net Worth||$60 Million|
|Biggest Transfer||€145 Million (LIverpool to FC Barcelona)|
|Salary Now||€13.5 Million a Year|
|Salary Before||£11 Million a Year (in Barcelona)|
The biggest transfer Philipe Coutinho was involved in was the Liverpool-Barcelona deal worth over €145 million. Called also ‘Magician’, he didn’t quite manage to work his magic in Barcelona, which turned him into the worst transfer in the history of the club. Yet, it seems to be all downhill from here. Coutinho’s amassed net worth of $60 million looks quite healthy, but what’s more, he turned a new leaf in Bayern Munich. The possibility to be bought by the German team, seems even more plausible now that the Brazilian has started to adapt to the Bundesliga.
His current market value is still found at €90 million exactly because of his consistently good performance. ‘ Consistency ‘ is again the keyword in his long-term partnership with Nike. He’s been representing the sportswear company for quite some time now. It turns out Philipe Coutinho has more than enough to satisfy his appetency for luxury cards. Absolutely no surprise there!