Call it football. Call it soccer. Call it the greatest game. Whatever you call it, there’s no doubt that this sport is the firm favorite around the world. There are an estimated 3.5 billion fans of the game worldwide, and no other sport can compete.
So, it’s little wonder that the top football players are paid whopping salaries and add to that money with hefty endorsement deals. The top five footballers for the 2021-2022 season look like this:
Cristiano Ronaldo – $125 million
Finally knocking his long-time rival Lionel Messi off the top spot, Cristiano Ronaldo received a bumper paycheck for his move to Manchester United. He received a bonus for returning to the club, which put his salary up to $70 million. In addition to that payment from his England club, Ronaldo is estimated to receive around $55 million from his endorsement deals.
Lionel Messi – $110 million
The number two spot isn’t too bad for Lionel Messi, thanks to his reported paycheck of $75 million from his new club Paris Saint-Germain. He’s also doing better in France than he would’ve done if he’d stayed at Barcelona thanks to La Liga’s enforcement of wage regulations. While Messi’s salary is higher than Ronaldo’s, Messi doesn’t do quite as well in the endorsement side. He receives an estimated $35 million each year from his deals.
Neymar Jr – $95 million
Neymar is doing well with French outfit Paris Saint-Germain, with a salary of $75 million – matching what they’re paying Messi. The Brazilian has been with the club since 2017 and last year, signed a new contract for a confirmed four-year stay at PSG.
Neymar has also had an interesting run of endorsement deals chopping and changing. At the moment, he receives an estimated $20 million each year from Puma and Triller. He was thought to be earning more through his endorsement deal with Nike, but that contract ended abruptly after a Swoosh employee brought allegations of assault against the football star.
Kylian Mbappe – $43 million
Paris Saint-Germain definitely tops the charts in terms of the salaries it can afford to pay their players. Coming in at $23 million for the club is youngster Kylian Mbappe. He is only 22 years old and is already cutting it in the top five highest earners in the game. It’s likely that just like AFL betting online wins, his income will only go up as his star continues to rise.
Mbappe also does well with endorsement deals, bringing in $15 million each year. He even got the solo cover of the EA Sports game FIFA 21 and FIFA 22.
Mohamed Salah – $41 million
The only other player from an English team is Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian star gets paid $25 million from the club and there are reports that they are looking to extend his contract past the next two years. Salah also does very well with endorsement deals, collecting $16 million each year from various sponsors.