Top 7 Footballers And Their Massive Pay Packets


We love calling it the beautiful game but a banker might call it the minted game. Footballers are still some of the highest paid individuals in the world as football continues to grow in popularity. From the Premier League to Spain’s La Liga and Serie A in Italy, we are crazy about football and it never gets boring discussing the huge sums that footballers are paid.

Let’s look at some of the world’s top paid footballers to try to understand why they are paid so much. This list isn’t in order of wealth but it is meant to showcase the variety in footballer pay packets so you can see where the demand is in the football industry.

Lionel Messi

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The FC Barcelona captain is one of the richest footballers in the world however it has been years in the making. Messi has also been the captain for his native Argentina however it is his work for Barcelona that makes him well paid. He is the highest paid footballer in the world and that is because of his complex and enriching contract. Here are some of the nuggets that have him on solid financial ground because of the contract:

His buy-out clause is more than £600M which means that if any team want him to play for them, this is what they will need to pay.

Messi received a £45M signing on bonus for renewing his deal with Barcelona.

These revelations came from Forbes magazine and the publication noted that since playing for Barcelona for years, Messi has made more than £380M in career earnings at Barcelona from salaries and bonuses. With all this cash swimming around in the sea of Lionel Messi’s success, there has been the potential of a shipwreck.

Lionel Messi’s father and business managers put the star into some trouble with Spanish authorities for tax evasion. He was initially given a 21-month sentence but this was scrapped and he was given a fine of more than £220,000 that needed to be paid to Spanish authorities. His father, Jorge Messi, said that it wasn’t Lionel’s fault that the tax problems arose and Messi himself said that he trusted his father and advisers to take care of things while he played football.

The tax evasion case was one of the rare times to see Lionel Messi’s squeaky clean image be smudged but many people noted that his father’s mismanagement of Messi’s finances were probably to blame, as opposed to it being malicious from the footballer himself. Jorge Messi was also ordered to be a substantial fine by the tax court in Spain.

Ultimately, Messi’s success as the top paid footballer shows the importance of managing your money properly and understanding how taxes are paid after you have received your salary and income.

Cristiano Ronaldo

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The baby-faced footballer from Portugal has left Real Madrid for Juventus but don’t think that he isn’t getting paid mounds of money. He earns more than £530,000 per week at Juventus and he is the top paid footballer in the entire Serie A league of Italy, according to this report.

some context, the next best paid football star in Serie A gets £165,000 per week. Ronaldo is being paid three times higher than the next top player which only further proves his financial worth to the Italian league which worked hard to secure him when rumours were floating that he wanted to leave Real Madrid. His annual salary of €31M dwarfs other players in Serie A who receive from €4M to €9M.

That’s not where the cash party ends either. Endorsements are another area where he does extremely well. His endorsements pay out £35M per year and they span a variety of brands that are happy to pay the pounds to secure Ronaldo’s time and image to flog their products.  CR7 as he is popularly known to his legions of 300M+ social media fans, also has a lifetime contract with Nike worth more than £700m.

From humble beginnings on the island Madeira which is part of Portugal to being one of the highest paid athletes in the world, it is clear that Cristiano has created a solid financial foundation for himself and he isn’t slacking either by just being the pitchman for brands’ products: he has his own line of products called CR7 across a variety of categories such as perfume and shoes.


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Neymar plays for Paris Saint-Germain and he is awarded princely amounts to do this job. Neymar gets around €700,000 per week to play football there which is more than €36M per year. Still at the young age of 26, his earning power is based on his current playing but also his future potential according to football pundits. Neymar is known for living a flamboyant lifestyle where he is playing in Europe or visiting family and friends in Brazil.

Gareth Bale

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Welsh superstar footballer Gareth Bale is making his country proud with his career success so far. He plays for Real Madrid and he has an endorsement deal with Adidas. He also was the face of a £4M advertising campaign from Lucozade, according to this report.

His Real Madrid contract is one of the most fascinating footballer contracts to exist in the market right now. He will receive around £150m over a few years until 2022 and it has a unique buyout clause of £1bn, according to this article.

This hefty contract is proof of the belief the team have in the Welsh player and the estimated weekly pay-out of his contract will be about £600,000 per week. His success also shows that there are some footballers who are succeeding in earning high amounts of money by staying at one club instead of moving from club to club.

Sergio Ramos

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Spanish superstar footballer Sergio Ramos does quite well for himself at Real Madrid, alongside team mate Gareth Bale. Ramos is said to net around €10M per season and his contract is signed until the early 2020s. He has put his money to good use – he is said to have purchase a multi-million dollar home in Madrid and he has a luxury car collection that is worth more than £2m, according to a report. While he doesn’t earn as much as Gareth Bale, he does well for himself and he has a spot on Spain’s national team.

Paul Pogba

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French footballer Paul Pogba was one of the stars of the most recent World Cup and we saw why because of his immense skill. He is getting compensated for that as well: he earns around £290,000 per week playing for Manchester United.

Adidas was quick to see his potential to stand out among the sea of footballers with endorsements. The footwear brand is paying him almost £23M in a 10 year deal, according to a summary online.


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Brazilian footballer Givanildo de Sousa, more popularly known as Hulk is one of the athletes with a huge pay packet but an interesting road to making £15M per year in annual salary. He plays in China for Shanghai SIPG and he also makes almost £800,000 per year in endorsements. With a playful nickname that is winning hearts and minds in China, Hulk plays a starring role in putting the Chinese league on the map with his stature and skills.

Do Footballers Deserve Massive Pay Packets?

The answer to this question depends on who you ask. Some people think they are overpaid because they don’t understand what value they provide for simply playing a sport. This perspective forgets the most important thing: football is a billion-pound business that has millions of fans across the world who purchase products such as season tickets.

Without the millions of fans who live for football, the athletes wouldn’t get paid what they receive in salary. They are also competing at the highest international level of football for a specific amount of time. It is well known that the older they become, the tougher it is for them to command the pay ranges that they want. Footballers have a short career span and their services are in demand if they can play at the best international level.

This is what determines what they get paid and sponsors only want to work with the best of the best. Which footballer do you think deserves the salary they get? Let us know!