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We all know that the world of professional soccer involves some serious money. Just how much money? Well, that’s precisely what we shall be looking at. Rather than looking at the macro factors associated with the soccer world, we want to seek out the highest paid soccer players in the world and highlight exactly how much these guys make. The figures are simply breathtaking, especially for the very best players in the world. And while you might have an idea of which players are bringing in the big bucks right now, some of the players we’ve listed inside the top five may come as a surprise.
The top five highest paid soccer players right now
As promised, we will now get into the bankrolls of the top soccer players around. We hope you’re sitting down, for these figures are absolutely incredible. Of course, fame and fortune often come hand in hand, so there are some familiar faces from our recent list of the most famous soccer players. Without further ado, let’s kick things off with the highest paid player on the planet right now:
1. Lionel Messi – $126M
At the time of writing, not only is Lionel Messi making more than his closest rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, but he’s also looking likely to win another Ballon d’Or too. Fair to say, the man has been killing it on and off the pitch for the last 12 months. As for his earnings, it is estimated that Messi pulled in $126 million throughout 2020. This really is a mouthwatering figure, and it puts him firmly at number one on our list of the highest paid soccer players right now. This is obviously rather impressive, and to give you the breakdown, it is estimated that $92 million of this came through his salary, and the remaining $34 million came through endorsements.
Is he the best soccer player on the planet? That will always be a debate – but his earnings are certainly not under debate whatsoever. Perhaps most impressively, Messi was ranked number two on the list of the highest paid athletes, period, in 2020.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo – $117M
Coming in at number two, we have arguably the best goalscorer on the planet, Cristiano Ronaldo. As we all know, Ronaldo hates losing, so this is probably a bitter pill for him to swallow despite raking in a rather cool $117 million in 2020. These kinds of figures will likely soften the blow of losing out to Messi, and as it happens, Ronaldo comes in at number 3 on the list of the highest paid athletes last year – across the board. These numbers really are incredible, and just like Messi, the earnings he received weren’t all from his salary at Juventus. Sure, $70 million was from salaried play, but that means a whopping $47 million came from endorsements.
As you can see, it would seem that Ronaldo is a marketing machine!
3. Neymar Jr. – $96M
Another soccer player that is absolutely killing it with his finances is Neymar Jr. As you may recall, Neymar moved from Barcelona to PSG a few seasons back, and this move immediately shot him towards the top of the list for highest paid soccer players. He is an unbelievable striker, and in both Paris and Brazil, he really is a superstar. Last year alone, it is reported that Neymar earned $96 million, with the vast majority of this money coming from his incredible salary at PSG. On that note, his salary made up $78 million of his $96 million, meaning that $18 million came from endorsements. Believe it or not, prior to Neymar splitting with Nike and moving to Puma, this money would have been far more.
And if these numbers weren’t enough to knock you off your chair, we have some more for you. When Neymar moved to PSG, he broke all records for transfer fees – moving for $263 million. And on top of this, it is rumored that PSG is actually pumping more than $600 million into getting Neymar to stay in Paris. This is simply outrageous money.
4. Kylian Mbappe – $42M
Mbappe has been one of the most exciting young soccer players to emerge in recent years. He has been truly phenomenal for PSG and France – let’s not mention the penalty kick he missed to send France crashing out of the Euros! Playing as a striker, Mbappe is one of the most sought-after talents right now, and the money he has earned in 2020 definitely backs this up. Let’s start with his salary, which reached an impressive $28 million last year. As for his endorsements, this made up 50% of his total take-home pay, netting him $14 million. Of course, this means that Mbappe managed to net $42 million in 2020 alone.
Sure, this puts him far behind the first three guys on our list of the highest paid soccer players, but it’s still money that is rather phenomenal, to say the least. To provide a bit of news on Mbappe’s future too, there are plenty of rumors surrounding a move to the Premier League. This could see his salary increased quite substantially, although we do not have any confirmation on where he is moving, at the time of writing.
5. Mo Salah – $37M
And finally, we have the lone Premier League player that has scraped onto our list. The sensational Mo Salah brought home $37 million last year, which might be well under the likes of Ronaldo and Messi, but it’s still impressive. Of this $37 million, Salah was paid $27 million in salary from Liverpool, and he also netted $10 million in endorsements thanks to various deals he has in place. True to form, one of these deals included a contract with Vodafone to promote changes on the cellular network in his home country of Egypt. He’s a truly incredible man, not to mention his humility. And despite him being one of the highest paid soccer players in the world – we have no doubts that he is as down to earth as most normal citizens.