Top 10 Richest Soccer Players: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo & Neymar Top List of Highest Paid Soccer Athletes in the World
It seems like no matter what Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are fighting for the top spot somehow, someway.
Whether it's most goals, assists, team wins, Ballon d'Or awards or international appearances, the two always get compared at the highest level.
Soccer is without a doubt the most popular sport in the world today, and with intense global popularity, comes a lot of money.
Players from all around the world are showcased, but European leagues are indisputably the frontrunners for singing the best players. Each of the world's Top 10 (see below) highest paid players all play in some sort of European soccer league.
La Liga leads the way with four players. Four players in the Spanish Premier League rank in the Top 10 highest paid players, according to ESPNFC. Those four players are Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and Gareth Bale. Not only do those four players play in La Liga, but Bale and Ronaldo play for Real Madrid and Messi and Neymar each play on Barcelona. It appears as if two squads can easily outspend the others in Spain by a pretty wide margin.
The English Premier League has the second-most players with three. Robin van Persie of Manchester United made the most money in the EPL last season, just over $28 million in American currency. The other two EPL players ranked in the Top 10 include Wayne Rooney of Manchester United and Sergio Agüero of Manchester City. Similar to La Liga, two teams heavily dominate the financial soccer market.
According to Business Insider, Messi earned $39 million in salary from Barcelona, and another $31 million in endorsements. While some will argue that's an extremely high ridiculous amount, there's no doubt that Messi has earned it. Messi has been the best la Liga player in recent memory, and he has brought the Spanish Premier League a lot of money and beneficial advertisements over the years. Messi is also not a controversial figure with off the field incidents.
The highest paid goalkeeper in the world was Real Madrid's Iker Casillas, who made over $18 million last year. The highest paid coach in the world was Jose Mourinho of Chelsea, who also made just over $18 million last season. By far the biggest trend in soccer finance is European leagues. Talented players from South America, Asia, Africa, North America and other continents know that European leagues offer far more money than their leagues can.
Some of the wealthiest athletes outside of soccer include Floyd Mayweather, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Phil Mickelson.
The top 10 highest paid soccer players in the world:
1. Lional Messi (Barcelona) $71 million (€65 million)
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) $59 million (€54 million)
3. Neymar (Barcelona) $40.0 million (€36.5 million)
4. Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain) $30.1 million (€27.5 million)
5. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) $28.1 million (€25.6 million)
6. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) $26.1 million (€23.8 million)
7. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) $24.7 million (€22.5 million)
8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain) $23.6 million (€21.5 million)
9. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) $23.3 million (€21.2 million)
10. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) $22.2 million (€20.2 million)
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