Football as a brand and a sport has reached new heights over the last decade or so, owing to it’s ever increasing popularity in the world today. More and more clubs across the world is willing to splash the cash in order to lure top players, most notably China. But do we know who are the highest earning football players in the world ?
China has emerged as a major contender in global football with the Chinese Super League and has shocked the football world with it’s willingness to spend ridiculously high amount of money to tempt the top talents across the world to join their respective clubs.
With clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid and other European heavyweights willing to spend large amounts of money to bring in their required targets, let’s look at the top 5 highest earning footballers today as of June 2017. (The following list has been made based on their weekly wages excluding bonuses and taxes)
1) Carlos Tevez (Shangai Greenland Shenhua FC)
The former Manchester United and West Ham striker Carlos Tevez made a high profile move to China’s Shangai Shenhua for a remarkable 71.6 million pounds from his boyhood club Boca Juniors. And that is not the end of it.
Tevez reportedly earns 615,000 pounds a week, which is effectively 32 million pounds an year, making him the highest paid player in the world. Just to give an impression of this ridiculous deal, Tevez earns nearly 30,000 while sleeping. Ridiculous, isn’t it?
2) Oscar (Shangai’s SIPG FC) & Ezequiel Lavezzi (Hebei China Fortune)
25 year old Brazilian playmaker Oscar shocked the football community by agreeing for a transfer to China’s Shangais’ SIPG FC for a fee around 52 million pounds. While many disagree with Oscar’s decision to move to an unknown league,stating that he should be at the peak of his playing career , the man in question feels he made the right decision as he was getting increasingly frustrated by his lack of game time at Chelsea.
Reportedly earning close to 400,000 pounds a week, one would see why Oscar found it difficult to resist the offer and at the same time, getting more game time under his belt.
Recently there was an outrage by the Argentinian press on the fact that Lavezzi earned more than 200 million pounds than their star player Lionel Messi did. Having quit PSG to join Hebei China Fortune, Lavezzi earns a mouthwatering 400,000 million pounds a week which amounts to approximately 20.8 million pounds an year.
3) Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF)
With a goal scoring ability like none other, Cristiano Ronaldo has certainly cemented his place as one of the greatest players ever to play the game. Evolving from a tricky, cunning winger to an absolute goal machine, Ronaldo has literally redefined the art of goal scoring all on his own.
Having recently signed a contract in 2016, which states his buyout clause to be a billion euros,Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest paid footballer in Europe with weekly wages mounting up to a little more than 365,000 pounds per week which amounts to approximately 19 million an year. Not to mention the money he also receives from all the brand endorsements, sponsors and his own brand of clothing.
With the recent rumours of Ronaldo wanting to quit Madrid in response to the tax allegations against him, it wouldn’t be a big surprise if he was offered another contract that would raise his already ridiculous pay.
4) Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
There are certain things in life that require no words to describe them. Lionel Messi’s dribbling is one of them. Regarded by many as one of the greatest players,if not the best, to ever grace the football field, Leo has often been credited for being one of the main factors behind Barcelona’s revival as a major European force over the last decade or so.
Leo currently earns close to 365,000 pounds per week which is effectively 19 million an year. With his contract ending in little more than a year, rumours has it that Barcelona club president Bartomeu is desperate to offer a new contract to their star player which will make him the highest paid player in Europe.
5) Gareth Bale (Real Madrid CF)
Arguably the greatest Welshman to play the game of football after the legendary Ryan Giggs, Gareth Bale’s fortunes at the Spanish capital has been mostly a topsy-turvy roller coaster ride. While he has made telling contributions in Real Madrid’s successful Champions League campaign in 2013-14 as well as in the 2015-16 season, injuries has stopped Gareth Bale from being the unstoppable force that he was at his time at Tottenham.
Neverthless, Bale signed a bumper new contract on 30th October which will keep him at Santiago Bernabeu until 2022. It also made him the third highest earner in European football behind only teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, earning close to 346,000 pounds per week which amounts to approximately 18 million pounds an year.