There aren’t many jobs in this World where you can earn as much as a football player does these days. The globalization process and the strong industry that was built behind several of the most competitive clubs, leagues and competitions across the World, led to a huge increase in revenues from almost every party involved in this business.
A few months ago, we already made note of the highest paid football managers in the game. Once we cross-check that data and figures with the rankings we’ll be providing in this article, we can easily come to the conclusion that in the present day, there’s not much of a gap between what the top managers and the top players actually earn in terms of net salaries paid by the clubs they represent. However, the same can’t be said when we compare footballers with athletes from other sports, as we did point out when we listed the best paid athletes in sports, back in August of 2013.
The following ranking of the highest paid footballers (please note the substantial difference to our rankings for the richest football players in the World), shows us that the 10 athletes making the cut to this shortlist are curiously and without exceptions, all playing in Europe.
Even though we’ve had several clubs from the Major League Soccer in the US, but also from main leagues in Brazil and also from a few rich clubs in Asia (Qatar; United Arab Emirates) snatching high-profile footballers from the big stages in Europe, the truth is that they end up not paying them as much as the top dogs in mostly Spain and England do. These two countries alone delivered 5 players into this top 10 ranking, including not only the best paid football player in the World as of today, Lionel Messi from FC Barcelona (20 million euros per year), but also the 2nd best paid footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid CF (18 million euros per year).
It’s also important to remind that the salaries figures presented below are already concerning net amounts, which means that each respective country-based tax deductions have already taken place. Since the tax cut on the gross salaries may vary a lot from country to country, it’s possible that in some cases these clubs are actually paying a lot more than what these numbers might indicate at a first glance.
To state a quick example and as reported by CNN late last year, the French government was planning on taxing 75% of the gross salary for those earning more than 1 million euros per year. This ranking was last updated on May of 2014, precisely a few days after Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) became the highest paid footballer in the World. The Argentina international signed a new contract with the Catalan club in the last week of the 2013-2014 season, which besides allowing him to earn a new paycheck of 20 million euros per year, will also link him to Barça until 2018 and protect him from hostile approaches with a transfer buy-out clause set at 250 million euros.
Sources: cnn.com / scaryfootball.com
The highest paid football players in the World in 2014:
#8 – Andrés Iniesta
Football club in 2013-2014: FC Barcelona (Spain)
Yearly salary (after taxes): 8.07 million euros
#10 – Didier Drogba
Nationality/Country: Ivory Coast
Football club in 2013-2014: Galatasaray (Turkey)
Yearly salary (after taxes): 7.5 million euros