When Forbes came out with their list of the highest paid athletes for 2019, the Top 3 were soccer players and Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr. are the only athletes in the list that made over $100M during the previous year.
Upon discovering that, we thought about how much the world’s top soccer players make. After some reading, we found out who the top 10 highest soccer players of 2019 are and how much they make. Have a good look at these:
1. Lionel Messi $127M
Lionel Messi is the highest paid soccer player of 2019 with a total of $127M in income. The 32-year old Argentinian superstar earns an estimated $80M annually on a contract that ensures that he will remain with Barcelona until the 2020-21 season. The five-time Ballon d’ Or winner has lifetime deals with Adidas and has endorsement contracts with the likes of Gatorade, Pepsi, Lays and Mastercard. Forbes estimates that his commercial deals are worth a staggering $35M for 2019.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo $109M
The only man who can rival Messi on the pitch is the same man who can rival him in the bank. Cristiano Ronaldo is the second-highest earning soccer player of 2019 with an estimated $109M in earnings. His current four-year deal with Juventus is worth $64M annually. When he signed with the Bianconeri, a total of 520,000 Ronaldo jerseys worth over $60M were sold on the date of release. As the most followed athlete on social media with over 370M in total followers, he has helped his sponsors earn $474M in social media value alone. Ronaldo’s main sponsors are Nike and Herbalife. He also has a clothing line called CR7. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner earns an estimated $44M in endorsements, making him the highest endorser in soccer.
3. Neymar Jr. $105M
Neymar’s transfer to Paris-Saint Germain from Barcelona is considered as the most expensive in the world at $263M, which PSG paid before they signed him to a massive five-year contract worth an estimated $350M in salaries. The 27-year old Brazilian is Brazil’s third highest scorer ever behind Pele and Ronaldo. He was voted Ligue 1 Player of the Year during his debut season. Neymar has endorsements with the likes of Nike, Gillette, Mastercard among others and these are said to be worth $30M in 2019.
4. Paul Pogba $33M
In 2016, Paul Pogba moved from Juventus back to Manchester United for a transfer fee of $120M, which remains as the highest paid by any English club. In his first year back, Pogba helped Manchester United win the League Cup and Europa League. The 2014 FIFA World Cup Young Player of the Tournament earns $20M annually from his current five-year contract. The 26-year old Frenchman auctioned his 2018 World Cup winning Adidas shoes for more than $30K and donated the proceeds to charity.
5. Andres Iniesta $32.5M
After bringing down the curtain on his brilliant and even legendary Barcelona career, Andres Iniesta signed a three-year contract with Japanese side Vissel Kobe in May 2018. The deal is reportedly worth $30M per year and after making that move, he also ended his 19-year partnership with Nike to sign with Japanese shoemaker Asics last October. Since 2010, Iniesta has operated a winery called Bodega Iniesta whose products include the Minuto 116, named in honor of his goal which won for Spain its first ever World Cup in 2010.
6. Alexis Sanchez $30.8M
Chile’s Alexis Sanchez had an injury-riddled season the last time out as he found the net just twice for the Red Devils across all competitions last season. Sanchez is currently playing in the Copa America where he has proved his critics wrong with a strong showing that includes two goals scored. Despite this, there are rumors that Manchester United is shopping him around. Sanchez is the highest paid Red Devil since his arrival in January 2018. He makes $400k to $500K per week with a bonus of $1M annually through 2022.
7. Kylian Mbappe $30.6M
Kylian Mbappe became the youngest Frenchman to score in a World Cup. Then 19 years of age, Mbappe also became the second-youngest player after Pele to score a goal in the FIFA World Cup. At the end of the tournament, he was the second highest scorer and was named at the 2018 Young Player of the Tournament. Following his World Cup exploits, Mbappe signed a deal to become the global ambassador of watchmaker Hublot. He also has sponsorship deals with Nike and Good Gout. Mbappe makes an estimated $20M per annum with bonuses and is under contract with Paris-Saint Germain until 2022.
8. Mesut Ozil $30.2M
Mesut Ozil doubled his salary to $24M when he signed a contract extension with Arsenal in February 2018. Add that to his endorsements worth 6.5M, Ozil makes around $30M this year. The 30-year old gained fame after leading Germany to the 2010 World Cup semifinals where they lost to eventual champions Spain. His exploits earned him a $17M transfer to Real Madrid. He later relocated to Arsenal for $56M in 2013 and ended the team’s nine-year trophy drought by winning the FA Cup in 2014. Ozil retired from his international career with Germany citing racism. His business interests include the esports team M10 esports and has added a Fortnite team this year.
9. Oscar $29M
Oscar played five years with Chelsea and won two Premier League titles there before shocking the football world by signing with the Shanghai SIPG of the Chinese Super League in 2017. But the now 27-year old Brazilian attacking midfielder got a stunning $75M deal to play in China which more than quadrupled his salary at Chelsea. He reaped dividends for Shanghai SIPG after he scored a league-best 19 assists on top of 12 goals to help the side win the league title in 2018.
10. Antoine Griezmann $27.7M
Griezmann was instrumental in France’s 2018 World Cup win. He either scored or set up eight out of the team’s 14 goals during the tournament. The 28-year old Frenchman has a long sponsorship deal with Chinese mobile phone maker Huawei and shoemaker Puma. As of May 2019, he was official with Atletico Madrid, a team he’s been with for the last five years. Recent reports are saying that he has signed a deal with Barcelona worth an estimated $19M per year.