In football, wealth isn’t always tied to success on the pitch. In recent years, the salaries of football players have been growing, but it turned out that it is not at all necessary to show an incredible level to get a lucrative contract.
The condition of the players can rarely be assessed objectively – not everyone advertises the level of salaries and fees for participating in advertising campaigns. We took information from several sources – celebritynetworth.com, forbes.com, money.com – based on it, we compiled the top of the richest football players in the world.
5. Wayne Rooney – $ 170 million
Rooney has not played at a high level for a long time, but even in 2020, he remains one of the richest footballers in the world. The legendary Englishman earned most of his fortune playing for Manchester United. Over 13 seasons with the Red Devils, Wayne re-signed the contract several times, eventually becoming the highest-paid player in the Premier League.
Under the largest contract, Wayne received about 15 million euros a year, and including advertising, the Englishman’s income was 23.6 million dollars. In 2020, 34-year-old Rooney is experiencing a decline in his career: he plays for Derby County from the Championship, combining the role of player and a coach and all the updates on his fate are available on bookmaker-ratings.com. Despite the low status of the team, Wayne receives 5.2 million euros per year.
4. Neymar – $ 185 million
Neymar is one of the main talents of his generation, second only to Messi and Ronaldo in skill. However, the Brazilian has not yet been able to truly reveal his potential.
After a brilliant performance at Barcelona Neymar moved to PSG where he consistently scored, but just as consistently got into trouble. On the football field, the Brazilian often fakes and fights with the referees, and off the field, almost every transfer window declares his desire to return to Barcelona.
Despite his difficult nature, Neymar is one of the richest footballers in the world. PSG paid 222 million euros for the player and did not skimp on the salary – under the contract, the Brazilian receives 70 million dollars a year. Neymar earns another 25 million in advertising projects.
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – $ 190 million
The eccentric Zlatan became famous playing for Inter from 2006 to 2009. From Inter, Ibra moved to Barcelona and from there back to Italy, this time to Milan. In 2012, Zlatan moved to PSG and began his ascent to the top of the richest footballers.
Over the next five years, the Swede received about 15 million euros a year – first at PSG, then at Manchester United. In 2017, Ibrahimovic agreed to lower the salary in Manchester United to 6.5 million euros, and in 2018 he moved to the United States – to the American Los Angeles Galaxy. In 2020, 38-year-old Ibra plays for Milan and still shows a great game for good money. The Swede’s salary currently is 6 million euros.
Zlatan also has other sources of income, such as advertising contracts with Nike, Nivea and Microsoft.
2. Lionel Messi – $ 400 million
Messi is an icon of Catalonia and Argentina, he has been in the structure of Barcelona for more than 17 years. For such loyalty, the management of the Catalan club is ready to pay the Argentinean a fabulous salary. In 2020, Lionel receives 90 million euros under the contract, of which half goes to taxes. This is the largest contract in football.
The Argentine gets four times as much as the second-highest-paid player in the blue garnet, Antoine Griezmann. In addition to salary, bonuses and prize money, Messi earns income from advertising contracts. In total, in 2019, the Argentine earned $ 127 million – the best figure among all athletes in the world.
Before the start of the 2020/21 season, Messi intends to change clubs. According to media reports, Manchester City is offering the player a five-year contract worth € 700 million.
If the Argentine nevertheless moves to an English club, then in a couple of years he will become the richest footballer in the world and move Ronaldo from the first line.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – $ 500 million
Ronaldo has been the richest footballer in the world for many years. He was successful in all the clubs he played in and received a lot of money for it. Even in 2020, at Juventus, 35-year-old Cristiano receives 31 million euros a year after taxes. Ronaldo earns most of his income from sponsorship contracts. For example, in 2016, the Portuguese signed a life-long contract with Nike, according to which he receives $ 24 million a year.
Also, Cristiano has 237 million followers on Instagram, less only than the official account of Instagram itself. Thanks to sponsored posts in 2019 alone, this account brought the Portuguese $ 47.8 million.
In total, Ronaldo has earned more than $ 1 billion in his career. This is the third result among athletes before him, golfer Tiger Woods and boxer Floyd Mayweather, who already became billionaires.
Out of rating: Faiq Jefri Bolkiah – more than $ 1 billion
Faik is a 22-year-old winger who played for youth clubs Southampton, Chelsea and Leicester and now landed in Marítimo. During his football career, the player did not earn even one million dollars. For example, at Leicester, Faik received $ 1,000 a week under a contract.
However, his fortune is not in his salary or even in advertising contracts. The fact is that Faik’s uncle is Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei and the richest head of state in the world. His fortune is estimated at more than $ 20 billion. If Faik receives the inheritance, he will become the richest footballer in the world. Of course, if until then he finds a club.