The most popular sport in the world, without a doubt, is football. An estimated 3.5 billion fans watch it. With 2.5 billion, Cricket is the only sport that comes close.
With such great popularity comes high pay. The numbers have reached unfathomable heights, and the trend is continuing.
Football is a high earning sport. Wages and transfer fees are increasing beyond any sense, logic, and control. Some of the finest players in the league are sitting on financial piles that hardly fit in the enormous stadiums where they compete.
The balance of spending power has shifted away from La Liga and into England’s top league, making the Premier League the ultimate cash cow.
Real Madrid only has one footballer in the top 10, and he is, to put it mildly, less well-known. Financial troubles at Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have caused some of its stars to drop off this list.
Let’s look at some of the athletes who enjoy the sweetest pie. Here are the world’s highest-paid football players as of 2022.
1. Kylian Mbappe (PSG) – $62 million per year
Three of five highest paid footballers earn their living from this French club, PSG.
Surprisingly, the Parisians still can’t claim the UEFA Champions League title. Nevertheless, Kylian Mbappe has already signed a big new contract with PSG, making him the best-paid footballer in the world.
Despite regularly expressing a desire to play for Real Madrid, Mbappe decided against doing so and instead committed his future to Paris in a contract that reportedly gives him authority over player and coach hiring.
2. Lionel Messi (PSG) – $41 million per year
Possibly the greatest player in the game’s history will take second place.
Many people still regard Lionel Messi as the GOAT even at the age of 35.
After unexpectedly deciding to leave Barcelona in the summer of 2021, the Argentine superstar became a free agent.
Messi soon after leaving Camp Nou joined PSG. Leo was given a staggering $41 million net annual pay by the French powerhouse.
The agreement was made for a two-year term with the possibility of an additional year.
3. Neymar JR (PSG) – $36.5 million per year
Neymar, a teammate of Messi’s, is next on the list. He extended his contract with PSG through the summer of 2021.
Up to the summer of 2025, the Brazilian star will remain committed to the Parisian team. Each year, he will be paid $36.5 million.
In the past ten years, Neymar has consistently ranked among the best five or ten players in the world.
Even though he has won everything in France, he would gladly exchange many domestic championships for the coveted UEFA Champions League silverware.
In relation to that, PSG has a sizable bonus clause in Neymar’s contract that will kick in if the team wins the top continental competition.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) – $36 million per year
Cristiano Ronaldo signed a two-year contract with his former team Manchester United in the summer of 2021, making him the highest-paid player in the history of the English Premier League.
Ronaldo thus made his way back to Old Trafford after more than ten years at Juventus and Real Madrid.
Despite the fact that the player has cut ties with the Red Devils, Cristiano Ronaldo shouldn’t be concerned about his finances.
Even at the age of 37, he is the fourth-highest-paid player in the world.
Ronaldo signed a two-year contract with a one-year extension option, much like his enduring rival Lionel Messi.
5. Oscar dos Santos Emboaba (Shanghai Port) – $34 million per year
When Oscar moved to China in 2016, just as his career was about to reach its pinnacle, eyebrows were raised.
However, it’s been calculated that the Brazilian made more money at Shanghai than he would have at Blues—more than three times as much, in fact.
Yes, he may have missed out on a career with greater notoriety, but we believe the private island he likely owns will make up for the lack of a larger trophy collection.
6. Andres Iniesta (Vissel Kobe) – $31 million per year
Many believe Iniesta has retired. The guy who scored the game-winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final is currently stunning defences in Japan, while his outstanding teammate Xavi is currently in charge of Barcelona.
Iniesta has won the Emperor’s Cup and the Japanese Super Cup with his new team since joining Vissell Kobe in 2018. He is currently 37 years old, although he may still play.
7. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) – $26 million per year
When it comes to paying sportsmen enormous salaries and then failing to get the best out of them, Real Madrid is only second to Manchester United.
Since arriving at Real Madrid in 2019 from Chelsea, Hazard has spent the most of his time in the medical facility.
He hasn’t always been at his best when he has made the team, though.
8. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – $26 million per year
At the start of July, Liverpool’s Egyptian king signed a new three-year contract, making him the highest-paid player in the team’s history.
After an incredible 156 goals in 254 games during his time at Anfield, it was well-deserved.
With Sadio Mane gone for the season, Salah will be more crucial than ever. We believe he will manage.
9. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – $24 million per year
He earns a hefty salary because he is perhaps the finest player in the world right now.
The midfielder from Belgium has agreed to resign in the summer of 2021. He has signed a document extending his devotion to Manchester City till 2025.
Although the actual cost is uncertain, but the Citizens will spend more than $24 million a year on these luxuries.
10. Erling Haaland (Manchester City) – $24 million per year
The latest addition to Manchester City signed a significant contract and is expected to perform well.
Haaland’s father had played for the Citizens in the early 2000s, which gave rise to the now-famous photo of a young Haaland Jr. sporting a City jersey.
Fans will be hoping he can continue his Premier League goal-per-game pace from Borussia Dortmund. City might rule for the following ten years if he succeeds.
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