Concerning football salaries, the information available is often not entirely clear, and not all teams and players have contracts that allow the full remuneration of a footballer to be published. Nonetheless, in the case of the best paid footballers, we know these numbers, although it must be emphasized in advance that these numbers only strictly apply to salaries, for most players of this level, sometimes the salary is no longer the biggest source of income, but sponsorship money, advertising revenue and so on.
The best paid footballer is Messi
Anyway, without making any guesses, most likely the majority will know immediately who might be the best paid football player in the world and we can be sure that this guess is true. Yes, Lionel Messi is the best paid football player in the world, according to a list published by France Football a few months ago. The first place in the Paris magazine’s list based on estimated sums is occupied by FC Barcelona’s Argentine star (despite Barcelona failed miserably in this season), with € 131 million, a sum made up of the player’s gross salary for the season, match premiums and advertising revenue. But these advertising revenues are, of course, not the same as personal advertising revenues, doing so does not mean much of the total revenue for the Argentine.
Behind Messi is eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese star of Juventus with 118 million, and the third best paid footballer is the Brazilian superstar of Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar, whose revenue is € 95 million, according to France Football. Far behind the trio, Messi’s French teammate Antoine Griezmann finished fourth with 38.5 million, who, sometimes played only minutes per game because of the decision of the coach of FC Barcelona. On the other side of the bench, Atlético Madrid’s Argentine coach Diego Simeone tops the list of top-paid coaches with € 40.5 million, followed by Italy’s Antonio Conte (Internazionale) with € 30 million and Spain’s Josep Guardiola (Manchester City) with € 27.5 million.
Other sources think roughly the same way
But to confirm the fact that everyone can only rely on estimates, let’s look at what another French newspaper, L’Equipe, thinks of the best paid footballers. According to them, Messi has a monthly income of 8.3 million euros, while Ronaldo “only” 4.5 million euros, and the third place on the list is Neymar, who is the best paid footballer in France at the moment with more than 3 million euros a month which is well above the income of his teammate Kylian Mbappé, who receives less than € 2 million a month. The big triple is followed by two Barcelona players: Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suárez, earning nearly € 3 million a month. They are followed by Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard from Real Madrid, with 2.5 million euros.
In the top ten, de Gea and Özil still fit in, both receiving just over € 1 million a month. L’Equipe’s information also covers the best payouts of some leagues, according to which the top 10 paid players in the French league are all Paris Saint-Germain footballers. Although it may not be so surprising. The paper highlights that Manchester United’s Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea is England’s best paid player with € 1.76 million a month, ahead of Mesut Özil and Kevin de Bruyne, who are both earning € 1.64 million. In Germany, two players from Bayern Munich, Robert Lewandowski, and Philippe Coutinho, who play on loan from Barcelona, pocket € 1.66 million a month, making them the best paid in the Bundesliga.
The best paying clubs in the world
Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammates Gonzalo Higuaín and Paolo Dybala will receive € 1.09 and € 1.06 million a month, respectively, putting them behind CR7 on the list of the best paid players in Serie A. For coaches, this French newspaper presented roughly similar numbers as the other newspaper. It should be mentioned that Cristiano Ronaldo will be the third athlete in the world and the first among footballers to become the third billionaire athlete during his active career. The Juventus striker will be crossing the $ 1 billion mark this year despite a collective pay cut due to the pandemic with the Turin team. Before Cristiano Ronaldo, golfer Tiger Woods and professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. were the only ones on the list of the billionaire active athletes but the big difference compared to them is that the latter are individual athletes, while CR7 was able to show this incredible result in a team sport.
It has long been expected that a footballer will join this club, but previously the only question for David Beckham, who was at the door of the billionaires’ club, was whether football would develop enough to reach a billion-dollar income during his still-active career. We now know that it has not evolved so much. However, Beckham is still one of the (ex) athletes with the biggest earnings nowadays. The fact that Ronaldo became the first in football stems from the fact that football’s income level has now reached the amount that allowed him to get here.
In any case, if we look at the highest-paying clubs in addition to the football players, we’ll find a familiar list here as well, apart from a surprise or two. The survey data are still for the period before the coronavirus, but according to current information, there has been no major change in the list. According to the survey, the three highest-paying football teams are Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus, and they are also the highest-paying sports clubs in the world. According to the tenth survey, Barcelona’s starting salary averaged $ 12.8 million, making the team the highest-paying club, despite an average salary drop from 13.7 million in 2018. Barcelona is followed by Real Madrid with an average salary of $ 11.6 million, and Juventus, who was in the ninth place before, fought for third place with $ 10.4 million. Among the top 20 paying clubs as a football team, we can also find PSG in the 12th place and Manchester City in the 13th.