Football players are one of the world’s most marketable and highest-earning athletes compared to other sports. They undergo years of training, building their skills and game IQ to perform at the highest level.
The sport is a lucrative industry for the players and everyone else organizing the games. In 2022, Cristiano Ronaldo made around $260 million playing for Al-Nassr FC.
Let’s explore the profitable football industry and learn about the highest-paid footballer statistics.
- Cristiano Ronaldo’s $213M annual salary makes him football’s highest earner of 2023.
- Kevin De Bruyne’s contract is worth £20,800,000 a year.
- Barcelona FC pays De Jong €721,154 weekly.
- Ligue 1’s top earner, Kylian Mbappe, makes €72 million annually.
- Lorenzo Insigne trumps other MLS players by salary with $14 million yearly.
- Neymar‘s current net worth is $160 million.
- Argentina’s Messi backs GOAT status with a $620M net worth.
- Ronaldo Nazario has a lifetime deal with Nike worth $180 million.
- David Beckham bends the business by earning a net worth of $450 million.
Highest-Paid Footballer of All Time
Cristiano Ronaldo is currently the highest-paid footballer in the world as of 2023. By signing a two-and-a-half-year deal with Al-Nassr FC, CR7 is guaranteed to earn $213 million annually.
To get a better scope of how much Ronaldo earns, here is a breakdown:
- Monthly: $17.75 million
- Weekly: $4.43 million
- Daily: $633,928
- Hourly: $24,413
- Per minute: $406.88
- Per second: $6.78
The deal makes Ronaldo the highest-paid soccer player of all time. Although, others on this list aren’t far behind in terms of contracts and net worth.
Highest-Paid Footballer Statistics by League
While salary rates alone do not indicate who the best players are, learning the disparities of the contracts and earnings between football leagues worldwide might help us better understand Footballer salaries.
Let’s review the statistics, shall we?
1. Kevin De Bruyne signed a £20,800,000 contract with Manchester City in 2022.
(Radio Times, Board Room)
Kevin De Bruyne signed a 5-year contract for a £20,800,000 annual salary, currently the highest contract in the English Premier League.
Dubbed the “Complete Player,” KDB’s 2022-23 salary is 10.68% of Manchester City’s payroll.
2. Manchester City’s Erling Haaland earned an estimated £24.7 million in bonuses.
(Capology, Board Room, Marca)
Erling Haaland has earned £24,700,000 in goal and result bonuses. He has a yearly salary of £19,500,000 on a 5-year contract, making him the second highest paid in the English Premier League and Manchester City FC.
3. David de Gea of FC Manchester United makes £375,000 weekly.
(Sportrac, Daily Mail UK)
The 32-year-old goalkeeper, David De Gea, reportedly made £19.5 million a year (£375,000/week) after signing his contract in 2019 with FC Man U.
His yearly earning is 9.2% of the team’s 2022 annual salary. De Gea is the world’s highest goalkeeper to step on the pitch.
4. Barcelona FC’s Frenkie De Jong will secure an estimated $161,938,890 for his 5-year contract.
(Board Room, Capology, Transfer Markt)
De Jong makes a weekly salary of €721,154 (around €37.5 million), making him the highest-paid footballer in La Liga.
The Dutch midfielder was reported to have a market value of about €60 million on March 23, 2023.
5. Sergio Busquets makes €37 million annually on a 5-year contract.
Sergio Busquets signed a contract with Barcelona FC in September 2018, earning him €711,538 weekly (€37 million annually). Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) comes close with an annual salary of €31.25 million.
Over those five years, Barcelona’s defensive midfielder made 600 total appearances, winning 30 trophies. This includes 8 La Liga titles, 3 UCLs, and 7 Copa del Rey titles. His contract is expected to end on June 30, 2023.
6. Kylian Mbappe’s monthly €6 million bonus gross helped him become the highest-paid athlete in Ligue 1.
(Be Soccer, Capology).
With estimated annual earnings of €72,000,000, Kylian Mbappe is the highest-paid footballer in the top French league.
The striker signed a 3-year deal (€216.00M) with PSG FC, ending on June 20, 2025.
7. Bianconeri’s Dusan Vlahovic secured a 4-year contract amounting to €51,840,000.
Juventus’ forward, Dusan Vlahovic, is the highest-paid footballer in Serie A as of the 2022-2023 season. According to Sportskeeda, Vlahovic earns €1.07 million monthly (€12.96M annually) in wages. His annual income also accounts for 7.96% of Juventus’ 2023 payroll.
8. Liga MX’s highest-paid player is Andre-Pierre Gignac, with an annual salary of $4.6 million.
(Social Bites, Jefebet, Capology, Transfer Markt)
Tigres’ own André Pierre Gignac earns the top spot in Liga MX’s highest earners with his annual income of $4,600,000. The French forward has re-signed a two-year deal with the UANL, giving him a €1.5M market value.
According to Capology, the average salary per Tigres player is $925,000. This means Gignac’s salary is almost 400% higher than the average Liga player’s.
His salary also amounts to 22.6% of UANL’s total annual payroll for 2023.
Gignac is the club’s all-time leading goalscorer (178 goals). He has also won four Liga MX titles, three Campéon de Campeones trophies, and the CONCACAF Champions League.
9. With a $14M guaranteed salary, Lorenzo Insigne became the highest-paid player in Major League Soccer.
(History of Soccer, Statista, Soccer Prime)
Toronto FC’s Lorenzo Insigne is the highest earner for the MLS. The Italian player has signed a 4-year deal with the club, netting him an annual salary between $14M – $15M (£12,168,000).
His annual salary almost doubles the yearly earnings of the next player on the top list (Xherdan Shaqiri: $8,153,000.00). Below are the top 15 highest-paid footballers in MLS for 2023.
10. Vissel Kobe’s Andres Iniesta was the highest-paid player in the J1 League, with an annual salary of $30 million.
(The Sports Grail, ESPN, Sports Unfold, Transfer Markt)
The 38-year-old Andres Iniesta earns about $30 million annually playing for the Vissel Kobe of Japan’s top league.
The midfielder has also generated around $5 million from his endorsements.
Transfer Markt suggested that Iniesta’s market value in 2023 is €1.20 M, which is at an all-time low compared to his market value in 2013 (€70 M).
11. Bundesliga’s highest-paid player in 2023 is Sadio Mané, with a 3-year contract grossing €22 million yearly.
(Capology, Salary Sport, Sportskeeda)
With a monthly salary of €2 million (€423,077 weekly), Sadio Mané of Bayern Munich is the top earner for Germany’s elite league.
Highest Paid Footballer by Country
Every country treats soccer differently; some even create unique tactics, such as the Gegenpressing, to get an edge. That means that every country has its football icon.
Since football has professional leagues established in more than 200 countries worldwide, it is worth exploring the sport’s highest earners per country.
12. As of 2023, Neymar, Jr. is Brazil’s richest football player, with a net worth of $160 million.
(Kenosha News, Pulse Sports, Techno Sports)
Neymar da Silva Santos, Jr., earns the spot as Brazil’s highest-paid soccer player. The PSG striker has signed a 4-year deal with the club for about $87 million annually.
13. Lionel Messi’s move to PSG solidifies him as Argentina’s highest earner, with a $41 million annual salary.
(Sporting News, ESPN, Sssamiti)
With a net worth of $620 million, Lionel “the GOAT” Messi is the highest-paid footballer from Argentina.
Messi’s two-year deal ($41 million/year) with PSG in 2021 guaranteed him a $30 million signing bonus.
Part of “La Pulga’s” 2021 contract stipulated that he shall also get a percentage from player image rights which could bump his yearly earnings to the $75 million range.
14. Sergio Ramos’ €10.9 million annual gross warrants him as the highest-paid Spanish soccer player.
(CAKnowledge, The Richest, NSNBC, Capology)
Sergio Ramos’ recent signing with PSG FC gave him the top spot as Spain’s highest-earning football player. “Ramo” has a current net worth of over $90 million.
The defender currently earns around $11.8 million annually on a 2-year deal.
Andres Iniesta is the second highest-earning Spaniard on this list ($86 million net worth).
15. Germany’s highest-paid footballer is Manuel Neuer, with a $135 million net worth.
(Capology, The Sports Life)
Manuel Neuer’s 2-year contract with Bayern Munich makes him Germany’s highest-earning soccer player as of 2023. The legendary goalkeeper makes $440,850 weekly ($22,924,205 annually).
16. Heung–Min Son’s £190,000 weekly salary makes him South Korea’s highest earner as a footballer.
(Pro Football Lounge, Capology)
South Korea’s highest-paid footballer is Heung-Min Son. Tottenham’s forward and captain of the SoKor National Team is guaranteed £9,880,000 annually from his contract with the Spurs.
Highest Paid Footballer for Advertising Statistics
Football’s popularity goes beyond athletics. Soccer players are revered worldwide, and their influences have become a target for companies to capitalize on. Some football players even manage to venture into their businesses.
Here are some stats that show how marketable footballers are.
17. Ronaldo’s “phenomenal” deal with Nike is worth over $180 million.
(Sports Keeda, Goal, Celebrity Net Worth)
Ronaldo Nazario’s net worth is around $160 million.
Throughout R9’s decade-long career, the Brazilian legend received a lifetime endorsement from Nike worth $180 million. The deal also resulted in the creation of the R9 Mercurial.
O Fenomeno also owns a 45% stake at the 9ine Sports and Entertainment agency.
In 2018, R9 purchased a 51% share in the La Liga club Real Valladolid.
18. The David Beckham brand is worth $450 million.
(Wealthy Gorilla, The Richest, Insider, Goal, Masterworks, The Sun)
England’s own David Beckham has made approximately $800 million playing football.
Outside the field, the bender earned an endorsement deal from Adidas worth $160 million in 1998.
In more recent years, Beckham has been a constant advertising draw, with his numerous endorsements, as shown below:
- Emporio Armani: 3-year contract worth $25 million
- Sainsbury: $6.5 million
- Jaguar: (no amount has been disclosed)
- Pepsi: From 1998-2008, $2.9 million yearly
- Samsung: Guild E-Sports sponsorship is worth 50% cash and 50% in stock
- Tudor: $300,000 per IG post
- Haig Club: Stake worth $50 million
- Gilette: From 2004-2007, £3 million yearly
Football’s profitability is a testament to the global power of the sport.
These footballers risk their bodies and reputations to compete at the highest level. The athletes undergo decades of training to reach the top.
In turn, the clubs and investors are willing to pay their players thousands to millions in exchange for their services and star power.
It’s no wonder why many try to venture into football professionally, among other sports. Having the chance to earn a relatively sizeable pay cut while living your passion is a dream, not many experiences.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are footballers paid too much?
Some argue that players are paid too much, while others believe they deserve high salaries due to the sport’s intense requirements.
Do footballers pay taxes on their salaries?
Footballers must pay taxes on their salaries just like any other employee. The exact amount depends on the country they are playing in and their tax situation.
Can footballers earn even more through bonuses and incentives?
Many footballers have performance-based rewards and incentives built into their contracts, which can significantly increase their overall earnings. For example, players might receive compensation for scoring specific goals in a season or helping their team win a championship.