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Who is the world’s highest-paid footballer?

Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi is currently the highest-paid footballer in the world after the former La Liga star left his boyhood club FC Barcelona last summer winning four UEFA Champions League titles with the Catalan club.

The Argentine superstar makes £960,000 per week now, which puts him way ahead of Manchester United‘s Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of wages earned. Last summer, the Portuguese talisman jumped ship from Serie A club Juventus to his former team Manchester United, making £385,000-a-week.    

Below is the list of the top 10 highest-paid footballers in decreasing order by the wages they get in their current club.    

Top 10 highest paid footballer: By Wages

RankPlayerClubsWages Per Week
1Lionel MessiParis Saint-Germain£960,000
2Neymar da Silva Santos JúniorParis Saint-Germain£606,000 
3Oscar dos Santos Emboaba JúniorShanghai Port£540,000
4Gareth BaleReal Madrid£528,000 
5Kylian MbappeParis Saint-Germain£410,000 
6Cristiano RonaldoManchester United£385,000 
7Kevin De BruyneManchester City£385,000
8Eden HazardReal Madrid£381,000 
9Philippe CoutinhoBarcelona/Aston Villa£380,000
10David De GeaManchester United£375,000

How much does Neymar Jr earn at PSG?

The second-highest-paid footballer on this list, Neymar Jr, is one of the most decorated footballers in the world right now with his Samba tricks and insane dribbling prowess. The Brazilian international, who played with Messi in Barcelona before his big-money move in 2017 to the French capital for a whopping transfer fee of 222 million euros, reunited with the Argentine last summer.

The wide forward has enjoyed a prolific career with PSG so far, scoring a whopping 90 goals and providing 55 assists in 130 appearances for the Ligue 1 club. This explains the insanely high wage of £606,000 that PSG pays him every week.

Oscar’s salary at Shanghai Port

Probably the odd one on the list of the highest-paid football players in the world, Brazilian midfielder Oscar gets paid more than the likes of Gareth Bale, Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo in his current club Shanghai Port. Yet another big-money signing of the summer of 2017, the Chinese club had paid Premier League club Chelsea FC £60m to secure the services of Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Júnior.

The midfielder had signed a four-year sumptuous deal worth £20.8 million with the Chinese club, and he didn’t disappoint either. In the 170 games he played for Shanghai, Oscar has sc0red 50 goals and provided 93 assists. However, playing in the Super League also saw Oscar’s place in the Brazil national team slipping away as the player had last made an international appearance back in 2016. And it had given steam to the rumours regarding Oscar’s possible move to Barcelona in the January 2022 transfer window. But, nothing materialized.

Cristiano Ronaldo sits sixth 

Though the most shocking name in the sixth place, Ronaldo’s lesser wage is understandable given his age is at the wrong side of 30. The towering forward’s stint with Juventus wasn’t fruitful for the club and the player, although he left the Italian club with 101 goals in 134 appearances. The lack of trophies saw Ronaldo miss out on the Ballon d’Or to Lionel Messi in 2021.

However, his second stint at Manchester United has started quite brilliantly, with the forward adding 14 goals to his kitty in 24 appearances for the Red Devils. He is paid a weekly wage of £380,000 at the moment, but a strong finish in the league and the UEFA Champions League could see his wage multiply in no time.

While Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t the leading name on the list for solely weekly wages, the Portuguese international is one the most recognized global sports stars and sits right at the top when it comes to endorsements.

Top 10 highest paid footballer: Salary and Endorsements

RankPlayerClubsTotal Earnings
1Cristiano RonaldoManchester United$125M
2Lionel MessiPari Saint-Germain$110M
3Neymar da Silva Santos JúnioPari Saint-Germain$95M
4Kylian MbappeParis Saint-Germain$43M
5Mohamed SalahLiverpool$41M
6Robert LewandowskiBayern Munich$35M
7Andres IniestaVissel Kobe$35M
8Paul PogbaManchester United$34M
9Gareth BaleReal Madrid$32M
10Eden HazardReal Madrid$29M

According to Forbes, Ronaldo earns a whopping USD 125 million when his salary is combined with endorsements. The player with the most goals in international football, Cristiano Ronaldo boasts of making over $1 billion in his career before taxes, a number only he has attained so far. Currently, Ronaldo earns $70m from salary and $55m from endorsement.

Being the highest-paid footballer on the pitch right now,  Lionel Messi sits second on this list mostly from his earnings from the salary alone. He earns $75m from his PSG deal apart from getting $35m from endorsements.

Paul Pogba sits eighth

The French midfielder is the second Manchester United player on this list, who boasts of a huge salary package and endorsement in the sports market. The incredibly talented midfielder earns $27m from the Manchester club’s salary and has a lengthy ten-year contract with shoe manufacturing giants Adidas. Despite multiple reports stating that Pogba has been on the verge of leaving Manchester United, the player has stuck with the club amidst numerous underperformance to his name. And it seems that United can further retain the 28-year-old by yet another lucrative contract.

The other names on the list include Real Madrid stars Eden Hazard, Paris Saint-Germain’s rising star Kylian Mbappe, Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski, Liverpool‘s Mohamed Salah, Neymar Jr, and Japanese club Vissel Kobe star Andres Iniesta.

The only player from a non-European club to feature on this elite list, Andres Iniesta, has been a blockbuster signing for the Japanese club. After the midfielder helped Vissel Kobe to win the 2019 Emperor’s Cup, the former Barcelona star also helped the club qualify for the AFC Champions League for the first time in the team’s history.

A literature student and ardent sports lover, who was blown away by the fact that SEO helps you achieve perfection in art. Obsessed with SEO, my write-ups are more analytical yet elementary.


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