Soccer is the biggest sport on earth, with the game continuing to grow year upon year with major sponsorship deals and billionaire owners, the amount of money within the beautiful game is starting to become quite ridiculous.
Because of that, the absolute elite level players are able to earn incredible sums of money, making them some of the richest people on the entire planet, with bonuses and personal sponsorships or adverts, soccer players are now earning hundreds of millions each and every year.
While many soccer players still earn very little money in the lower leagues, within this article, we will be focusing on those who are able to earn the big bucks, ranking the 10 highest paid soccer players in the sport right now.
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10 Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann had the world talking when he signed for Barcelona this summer, in a move that cost the club £107 million, making him one of the most expensive players in the history of soccer.
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His new contract certainly saw his weekly salary rise, and he was already earning an impressive $27 million-per-year, which means that come next year the French international may just find himself higher on this list.
With a major Puma deal to his name and a deal with Huawei, Griezmann is also earning plenty from endorsements and bonuses, making him one of the highest-paid players in soccer.
The fact that Oscar features on this list shows the real power of the Chinese Super League and how much money teams in the division are willing to throw at players, with the midfielder quadrupling his weekly wage since leaving Chelsea.
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In London, Oscar won two Premier League titles, but rather than continuing to play at the highest level, he opted to move to Shanghai SIPG, with the annual fee of $25 million being too hard to resist for him.
Oscar has dominated the division, scoring 12 goals in 2018 whilst having 19 assists as he helped the club win the league, showing that their decision to splash the cash on him was more than worthwhile.
8 Mesut Özil
There is no denying Mesut Özil’s talent, with the German midfielder being one of the very best in the sport right now, but it is quite surprising to see him rank this highly considering the fact Arsenal are well known for not overspending.
However, Özil smartly signed a contract extension with the club in 2018 which saw him double his annual pay to around $24 million, despite the fact that he has won very little since joining the English club.
Özil has also founded his own professional esports team, M10 eSports, which compete in FIFA and Fortnite tournaments, adding another source of income on top of his endorsement deals.
7 Kylian Mbappé
He might only be 20-years-old, but Kylian Mbappé has quickly made a name for himself in the sport, and is already one of the richest men in the game right now, earning a tremendous $30.6 million in 2019.
The Frenchman has made his mark on the sport fast, winning the 2018 World Cup Best Young Player award, finishing the tournaments joint second-highest scorer, which is one of the reasons every club in the world is desperate to sign him.
However, even though he is young, it does not appear that Mbappé is greedy, as he donated his $500,000 World Cup bonus to a charity which organizes sports events for disables children.
6 Alexis Sánchez
The fact that Alexis Sánchez ranks so highly on this list likely frustrates a large amount of Manchester United fans as the midfielder has failed to make any real impact with the club since signing in January 2018.
The Red Devils pay Sánchez between $400,000 and $500,000 on a weekly basis, with an additional $1 million bonus annually, which he will earn through 2022 if he remains with the club.
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Out of everybody on this list, Sánchez has certainly achieved the least in the game, proving that sometimes agents and soccer players are able to force some incredible deals through when a club is desperate.
5 Andres Iniesta
Andres Iniesta has always been considered one of the greatest midfielders in the history of soccer, being part of the legendary Barcelona and Spanish sides that dominated the sport for years.
The creative midfielder was at the heart of all of the action, and even though he now plays for Vissel Kobe in Japan, he is still one of the highest earners in the game, bringing in $30 million from his salary and bonuses alone.
On top of that, Iniesta made the decision to end his near-20 year partnership with Nike to sign with the Japanese company, Asics, which no doubt sees him earn a significant fee, as nobody turns down Nike if it’s not worthwhile.
4 Paul Pogba
Whether you love him or hate him, Paul Pogba is one of the richest players in soccer right now and is the highest earner in the Premier League, which is often considered to be the best league in the sport.
Pogba returned to Manchester United in 2016 after becoming one of the most sought after central midfielders in the world at Juventus, and his current deal pays him over $20 million each year. Although the Red Devils would be happy to increase that in order to have him stay at the cub.
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Earning nearly $5 million a year in endorsements on top of that through his deal with Adidas, as Pogba continues to grow and remain one of the most talked-about athletes in the game, his earnings are only going to rise.
3 Neymar Jr.
While there has been plenty of controversy surrounding him during this summer, Neymar Jr, is still one of the highest-paid soccer players on earth, with PSG, having Neymar signed on a five-year deal, worth an incredible $350 million total in salary and bonuses.
Because of how great his deal is, the Brazilian will be sure to stick around at the top of this list throughout June 2022, if he manages to stay with the French outfit for that long, with several clubs circulating around him.
However, if he does get transferred, the chances are that his wages will get even higher, and considering that he is already making an impressive $105 million-per-year, any more money really would be a bonus at this point.
2 Christiano Ronaldo
Last season was a big change for Christiano Ronaldo, joining Juventus after nine years with Real Madrid, and even though he took a pay cut in order to join the Italian side, he still manages to be the second richest soccer player on earth.
His four-year deal with the club sees him earn a gross salary of $64 million, although there are no bonuses included, however, considering he is earning around $109 million a year, a lack of bonus incentive might not be such a bad thing.
Despite not having a bonus system in play, Ronaldo is an incredibly marketable athlete, earning $44 million in a year through his sponsorships alone, showing just how much money he is bringing in each season.
1 Lionel Messi
It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that Lionel Messi is the highest-paid soccer player on earth right now, after all, he is arguably the greatest player to ever lace up a pair of boots with his goal and assist record being frankly astonishing.
Messi earned an incredible $127 million last season, which was partly in thanks to the contract extension he had signed the year prior, committing him to Barcelona FC until 2021, earning $92 million in salary and bonuses alone, prior to taxes.
Then when you add his personal sponsorships and the fact he has performance-incentive pay, with Messi finishing as La Liga’s top scorer and with the highest assists, he managed to earn plenty, but when you are the very best, you would expect to be topping this list.
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