Show me the money! There’s never been a better time to be a footballer from a financial perspective, with the world’s top players raking in over $50 million each year. Do these players deserve to be paid millions? You be the judge with this list of the 9 Highest Earning Players in World Football:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo ($79 million per year)
The talented Real Madrid star tops the earning charts in world football after picking up a massive $79 million pay-check at the end of the year. Ronaldo, who won the 2014 FIFA BallonD’or, receives a substantial amount of his salary from Spanish giants Real Madrid but major sponsors such as Nike, Samsung, Tag Heuer, Emirates and Herbalife also nets him a cool $24 million for endorsing their products.
2. Lionel Messi ($70 million per year)
Barcelona’s ace attacker Lionel Messi comes in at number two, behind arch-rival Cristiano when it comes to their annual salary. The Argentina captain nets $70 million from Barca on a yearly basis on his current contract but also has lucrative deals with top brands such as Adidas that supplement his already swollen earnings.
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic ($34 million per year)
Gifted, volatile and mercurial, Zlatan is the undisputed king of France at the moment and his pay package is a clear reflection of that at theParc Des Princes. Netting $34 million per year from PSG, Ibrahimovic also has deals with Volvo and Nike that add to his growing coffers.
4. Gareth Bale ($34 million per year)
Bale’s transition from English to Spanish football has been seamless. But the club is bigger and so is the Welsh Winger’s salary in Madrid. However, with sizzling performances on the pitch and an impressive partnership with Ronaldo, Los Blancos aren’t complaining!
5. Neymar ($31 million per year)
The Brazilian has been an instant success in Spain following his high-profile move from Santos and while Barcelona have been relishing his on-field displays, the player himself has benefitted immensely with a meteoric rise in both profile and earnings in the last few months.
6. James Rodriguez ($25 million per year)
The 2014 World Cup Golden Boot Winner and newest Galactico comes in just behind teammate Gareth Bale with $25 million per year. If James continues his good form for Madrid he will surely push further up the leaderboard.
7. Wayne Rooney ($22 million per year)
Rooney continues to dominate the headlines in Manchester with a lucrative contract at the Theatre of Dreams. And with his versatility and ability to drop into midfield coming extremely handy for manager Louis Van Gaal, Manchester United won’t have to think twice before paying their dues.
8. Sergio Aguero ($21 million per year)
Manchester City won the title in 2012 solely because Aguero came up with the goods in injury time and it’s no wonder that they are shelling out exorbitant amounts on a weekly basis to keep their favorite son at the Etihad.
9. Yaya Toure ($21 million per year)
Like his performances, Yaya Toure also commands a beastly salary to keep his midfield tempo ticking in Manchester. And the Ivorian is content with an annual salary of $21 million that includes endorsement deals with his sponsors.
Do these players deserve to be paid the big bucks? Is it fair that what they make in a week the normal football fan makes in 5 years?
Do any of these players not deserve to be on this list? Will Messi overtake Ronaldo this year as the world’s top paid footballer? Let us know what you think in the comments section below for your chance to win a $50 Premier Sports Memorabilia gift voucher.