Top Ten Highest Paid Players in World Football

Football is one of the most popular sports in the world and also one of the highest paid sports in the modern era. With more and more money being given to clubs through TV rights and sponsorships, teams are now able to tempt players with even higher wages.  The Forbes list was dominated by footballers whose ability on the pitch has seen them earn a pretty penny.

We break down the top ten highest earners in the world…


Annual earnings: £11.4m

Per Month: £950,000
Per Week: £219,230
Per Day: £31,318
Per Hour: £1,304
Per Minute: £21.75

Manchester United have kept Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the top ten highest earners following his move to Old Trafford. The Swede has made an instant impact in England and added another two goals to his tally against Southampton. Zlatan has a lucrative sponsorship deal with Nike and also launched his own sportswear, A-Z, back in June. The 34-year-old signed a two-year deal with the Red Devils and will be hoping to for more success as the season progresses.


Annual earnings: £11.8m

Per Month: £983,000
Per Week: £226,923
Per Day: £32,417
Per Hour: £1,350
Per Minute: £22.51

Asamoah Gyan was a former Premier League star as he hit 10 Premier League goals for Sunderland in his first season with the Black Cats. However, Gyan was one of the first players to have his head turned by lucrative wages in the Middle East. The Ghanaian international left Sunderland for Al Ain on loan before the move was made permanent with a reported £6m-per-year salary. Gyan scored goals for fun in the UAE League and ended his stint with Al Ain scoring 128 goals in just 120 appearances. In July 2015, Gyan signed for Shanghai SPG which made him one of the world’s highest paid players with a salary of £227,000-per-week; which is more than the likes of Eden Hazard and Thomas Muller.


Annual earnings: £11.9m

Per Month: £991,000
Per Week: £228,846
Per Day: £32,692
Per Hour: £1,362
Per Minute: £22.70

Sergio Aguero’s move from Atletico Madrid to Manchester City amade the Argentine one of the highest paid players in the world. The forward signed a new deal with the Citizens in 2014 which keeps him tied to the club until 2019. As well as his bumper salary, Aguero also has sponsorship deals with Puma and Pepsi worth almost £6m-per-annum. The Argentina international paid for his former side, Independiente, to build a new training ground in March 2016 and hopes to finish his career with the club following his time in Manchester.


Annual earnings: £11.9m

Per Month: £991,000
Per Week: £228,846
Per Day: £32,692
Per Hour: £1,362
Per Minute: £22.70

Despite the annual rumbling regarding his future, Yaya Toure remains at Manchester City and receives the same wage packet as his team mate Aguero. The Ivorian also has a sponsorship deal with Puma and is a popular advertising figure in his home country. Toure is a three-time African Footballer of the Year and insisted that his deal with the sports manufacturers include donations being made for footballing equipment back in the Ivory Coast. The former Barcelona midfielder has one year to run on his contract under Pep Guardiola.


Annual earnings: £13m

Per Month: £1,083,333
Per Week: £250,000
Per Day: £35,714
Per Hour: £1,488
Per Minute: £24.80

Former Everton striker, Wayne Rooney, remains one of the highest paid players at Manchester United following the five-year-deal he signed back in 2014. Rooney was reportedly targeted by clubs in China in January but the England captain resisted the urge to move abroad. The 30-year-old’s main sponsorship deal is with Nike but Rooney also has a deal with tech giant Samsung. He remains just four goals shy of overtaking Bobby Charlton as Manchester United’s record goalscorer.


Annual earnings: £13.9m

Per Month: £1,158,333
Per Week: £267,307
Per Day: £38,186
Per Hour: £1,591
Per Minute: £26.52

It might be surprising to see ex-Southampton striker, Graziano Pelle, as the fifth highest paid player in the world but the Italian signed a contract worth a reported £270,000-per-week when the Saints accepted a £13m offer from Shandong Luneng. Pelle scored on his second appearance for his new club in a 4-1 win over Hangzhou Greentown.


Annual earnings: £13.9m

Per Month: £1,158,333
Per Week: £267,307
Per Day: £38,186
Per Hour: £1,591
Per Minute: £26.52

Paul Pogba recently completed his long-awaited return to Manchester United and in doing so became one of the highest earners in the world. The Red Devils flexed their financial muscle in bringing Pogba back to the club with the overall cost of the transfer well over £100m. The former Juventus midfielder made a good impression on his debut against Southampton and will pocket around £260,000-per-week with his new side. The 23-year-old also receives huge endorsement money from Adidas who managed to lure the Frenchman from rivals Nike in March 2016.


Annual earnings: £15.3m

Per Month: £1,275,000
Per Week: £294,230
Per Day: £42,032
Per Hour: £1,751
Per Minute: £29.19

Former Porto winger, Hulk, is another household name who has moved to China in search of lucrative wages. Shanghai completed a reported £45m deal for the ex-Zenit St. Petersburg winger in June 2016 which made him the third-highest paid player in the world. Hulk was greeted in tremendous fashion in China but unfortunately the 30-year-old suffered a muscle injury in his first appearance for the club.


Annual earnings: £14.5m (After tax)

Per Month: £1,208,333
Per Week: £278,846
Per Day: £39,835
Per Hour: £1,659
Per Minute: £27.66

Lionel Messi falls just short of the highest earning footballer in the world despite lifting the La Liga title last season. Messi struggled with injury and legal problems over the course of the year which allowed Luis Suarez to play a starring role for Barcelona. The 29-year-old also suffered heartbreak with Argentina for the third consecutive final in the Copa America which resulted in Messi announcing his international retirement. However, the Barcelona forward later retracted his statement after fans urged him to rethink his decision. Messi is the second highest paid footballer as his wages are after tax and also earns huge endorsements from Adidas and Pepsi.


Annual earnings: £15m (After tax)

Per Month: £1,250,000
Per Week: £288,461
Per Day: £41,208
Per Hour: £1,717
Per Minute: £28.62

Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest earning footballer in the world, scooping a £15m pay packet per year. Ronaldo enjoyed another sensational season with Real Madrid where he lifted yet another Champions League trophy and also celebrated European Championship success with Portugal. The 31-year-old also enjoys a wage after tax which makes him one of the highest-earning sports professionals in the world. Ronaldo has over 200m followers on social media and has huge endorsement deals with Tag Heuer, Monster Headphones as well as his own clothing line CR7. On top of this, Ronaldo is the face of Nike worth around £14m-a-year.

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