Soccer is a sport that is beloved by millions of people around the world. It’s a game that transcends borders and cultures, and it has the power to bring people together like few other things can. While the game itself is thrilling, another big part of soccer is the money involved. Some of the richest soccer players in the world earn salaries that are absolutely staggering. In this blog post, we will count down the top 10 richest soccer players in the world. From Cristiano Ronaldo to Neymar Jr., these are the men who are raking in the big bucks.
Cristiano Ronaldo – $105 million
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the richest soccer players in the world, with an estimated net worth of $105 million. The Portuguese superstar has amassed his fortune through a successful career on the pitch, as well as lucrative endorsement deals with major brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, and Tag Heuer.
Ronaldo began his professional career with Sporting Lisbon in Portugal before signing with English club Manchester United in 2003. He helped lead United to three Premier League titles and the Champions League trophy before moving to Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2009. With Los Blancos, Ronaldo has won two La Liga crowns and another Champions League title. He is currently the all-time leading goalscorer for both Madrid and Portugal.
Off the field, Ronaldo’s personal life has been well-publicized, including his relationships with model Irina Shayk and pop star Rita Ora. He also has a son, Cristiano Jr., who was born in 2010. In 2015, Forbes magazine named Ronaldo the world’s highest-paid athlete, earning an estimated $88 million from salary and endorsements that year.
Lionel Messi – $104 million
Lionel Messi, widely considered to be one of the best soccer players in the world, is also one of the highest-paid. In 2019, Forbes estimated that Messi earned $104 million in salary and endorsements. That made him the second-highest paid soccer player in the world behind only Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi’s $104 million in earnings put him well ahead of other top soccer stars like Neymar ($95.5 million), Gareth Bale ($29.2 million), and Wayne Rooney ($26.8 million).
The bulk of Messi’s earnings come from his salary with Spanish club Barcelona, which is reported to be around $64 million per year. He also has a number of lucrative endorsement deals with companies like Adidas, Gatorade, and PepsiCo. In 2018, he signed a lifetime deal with Barcelona worth an estimated $650 million.
Neymar – $95.5 million
Neymar, the world’s third richest soccer player, is worth an estimated $95.5 million. The Brazilian superstar has endorsement deals with some of the biggest brands in the world, including Nike, Red Bull, and Panasonic. He also has his own clothing line and perfume. Neymar’s annual salary with his club, Paris Saint-Germain, is $33.6 million.
Gareth Bale – $34.6 million
Gareth Bale is a Welsh professional footballer who plays as a winger for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Wales national team. He began his professional career at Southampton, before moving to Tottenham Hotspur in 2007. During his time at Spurs, Bale established himself as one of the best players in the world, winning the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 2010-11. In 2013, he was sold to Real Madrid for a then world record transfer fee of £85.3 million (US$134.4 million).
Bale has been included in the UEFA Team of the Year five times and was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year in 2013. He was also named in both FIFA World XI’s from 2013-2017. In 2016-17, he was also named La Liga Best Foreign Player. He has scored many important goals for both club and country, including vital goals in both legs of Real Madrid’s victorious 2014 Copa del Rey final against Barcelona; a match-winning goal against Atlético Madrid in the 2014 UEFA Champions League final; and two goals in Wales’ 3–1 win over Belgium which took them into their first major semi-final at UEFA Euro 2016.
Paul Pogba – $28.8 million
Paul Pogba is a professional soccer player who plays for the French national team and Manchester United. He is one of the highest-paid soccer players in the world, earning an annual salary of $28.8 million.
Pogba began his professional career with Juventus FC in 2012. He made a total of 124 appearances for the club and scored 34 goals before being transferred to Manchester United in 2016 for a then-world record fee of $105 million.
Since joining Manchester United, Pogba has made 129 appearances and scored 27 goals. He was part of the team that won the UEFA Europa League in 2017 and the FA Cup in 2018/19.
Pogba has also been successful at the international level, winning the FIFA World Cup with France in 2018. He was named Best Young Player of the Tournament and was awarded the Bronze Ball as the third best player overall.
Antoine Griezmann – $28 million
Born in 1991, Antoine Griezmann is a French professional soccer player who plays for Spanish club Atlético Madrid and the France national team. He is one of the world’s highest-paid soccer players, earning an annual salary of $28 million.
Griezmann began his career playing for Real Sociedad’s youth team. He made his senior debut in 2009 and went on to score 16 goals in his first season with the club. In 2014, he transferred to Atlético Madrid for a fee of €30 million.
At Atlético, Griezmann has established himself as one of the best players in the world. He has won numerous individual awards, including the Pichichi Trophy (given to the leading scorer in La Liga) and the European Golden Shoe (awarded to the leading scorer in Europe). He was also named La Liga’s Best Player in 2016.
Griezmann has represented France at two FIFA World Cups and two UEFA European Championships. He was a member of the French team that won the 2018 World Cup, and he was awarded the Bronze Ball (given to the tournament’s third-best player) and Silver Boot (given to the second-highest goalscorer).
Kylian Mbappe – $27 million
Kylian Mbappe is a French professional soccer player who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the France national team. He is widely considered to be one of the best players in the world, and has been ranked as the world’s second-best player by The Guardian in 2019.
Mbappe began his professional career with Monaco, where he made his senior debut in 2015 and was a member of the club’s title-winning team in 2016–17. He then moved to Paris Saint-Germain for a fee of €180 million, making him the most expensive teenage footballer ever, and helped the club win three consecutive Ligue 1 titles, two Coupe de Frances, and four Coupes de la Ligue. In 2020, Mbappe was Named FIFA World Player of The Year becoming the first player born in the 21st century to receive the award.
Mbappe is known for his finishing, dribbling, pace, and strength. He has been described as a “complete” striker by former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier.
Luis Suarez – $26 million
Luis Suarez is a Uruguayan professional soccer player who plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Uruguay national team. He is widely considered one of the best players in the world, and has won numerous individual and team awards.
In 2014, Suarez signed a five-year contract with FC Barcelona worth a reported €128 million (approximately $140 million US dollars), making him one of the highest-paid soccer players in the world. According to Forbes, Suarez earned an estimated $26 million in 2019, making him the tenth highest-paid soccer player in the world.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – $24.5 million
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the top richest soccer players in the world, with a net worth of $24.5 million. The Swedish striker is currently playing for Manchester United, and has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world, including Barcelona, AC Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain.
Ibrahimovic is known for his incredible goalscoring record, as well as his larger-than-life personality. He has won numerous individual awards, including the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball.
At 36 years old, Ibrahimovic shows no signs of slowing down, and is still one of the most feared strikers in the world. With his wealth only set to increase in the years to come, Ibrahimovic looks set to finish his career as one of the richest soccer players ever.
Soccer is a hugely popular sport, and there are many incredibly wealthy soccer players in the world. The top 10 richest soccer players are all worth over $100 million, with many of them earning well over $200 million.
These players have all enjoyed successful careers, and many of them are still playing today. With their wealth only set to grow in the years to come, these players look set to finish their careers as some of the richest people in the world.