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Who Are The Highest Paid Footballers In The World?

Updated on December 16, 2013

With nearly every developed country possessing some sort of league or cup system for football (soccer), we would be correct in saying that football is one of very few truly global sporting epidemics. Whilst some sports, such as cricket, are played more frequently in specific climates. Football on the other hand, can be played equally as well in a warm climate as a cold one.

In this article we are going to take a look at who are currently the most well payed stars throughout football. Many of these are already household names meaning that their inclusion in the list is no real surprise.

Please note, that the figures represented are based solely on the player's wage and do not include any bonuses or sponsorship deals that a player may have. If these we to be combined the list order would potentially be slightly different.

5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

At number five on our list of the highest paid football players in the world we have Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. England fans may remember him from the last time that the two teams played and he scored one of the best international goals ever.

Currently, Ibrahimovic plays at Paris Saint-Germain where he moved to in 2012. Previously, he had played for a number of top class clubs including Juventus, Ajax and Barcelona. It is small wonder that he consequently has managed to gain an £11.8 million yearly wage deal, He is certainly one of my top 5 strikers.

4. Wayne Rooney

It comes as no surprise really that we find English footballer Wayne Rooney on our list of the highest paid footballers in the world. Despite claims that he is perhaps not as charismatic or popular on social media as some of the other players on the list, Rooney is valued so highly due to the fact that he is renowned for putting in good quality performances weekly.

Rooney was only 18 when he moved from Everton to Man United for a fee of £25.6 million. Quite clearly, Alex Ferguson saw something special in Rooney and the expensive gamble on him certainly paid off. He has been with Manchester United around 9 years currently.

It is estimated that Rooney earned £13 million a year.

3. Lionel Messi

It comes as no shock that Lionel Messi is on our list of the most expensive football wages in the world. Having played throughout his professional career only at Barcelona, Messi is one of the fortunate few who haven't had to relocate numerous times in his career. Certainly it shines a light on Barcelona's youth academy as they have nurtured Messi since he was a youth into what he is today.

Currently he has 257 games for Barcelona and 223 goals from them. This is a truly incredible percentage and shows why some would consider him the best player in the world currently.

Having won numerous league titles and cups with Barcelona, as well as the coveted player of the year award, it comes as no surprise that Messi earns a nice £13.5 million a year.

2. Christiano Ronaldo

As with Messi, it is no shock that Ronaldo manages to make it to near the top of the list of the highest paid footballers in the world. Many consider it to be a contest between him and Messi as to who is technically the best player in the world.

Ronaldo moved to his current club Real Madrid from Manchester United for a reported £80 million fee. At the time this was the largest transfer fee in the world and has only recently been overtaken (again by Real Madrid). During his time at Manchester United he won numerous league titles, cups and awards such as player of the year awards.

Currently, it is estimated that Ronaldo is being paid around £15 million a year. The arrival of Gareth Bale fell in time with Ronaldo renewing his contract.

1. Gareth Bale

At number one on our list of the highest paid football players in the world we have Welshman Gareth Bale. It was in September 2013 that Bale was reported to have become the most expensive transfer deal in the world at a fee of £85.3 million for joining Real Madrid. Before this he had been playing at Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.

The move would see Bale net £300 000 a week or £15.6 million a year in wages.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
£11.8 million
Wayne Rooney
£13 million
Lionel Messi
£13.5 million
Christiano Ronaldo
£15 million
Gareth Bale
£15.6 million


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      Przemek 3 years ago

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    • muzzster profile image

      Muzzammil Maniar 4 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      What about Eto'o? I guess his move to Chelsea from Anzhi came at the expense of a massive pay cut?

    • pmarinov profile image

      Blogger at Best 4 years ago from Detroit MI

      Two of these five players will miss the WC in Brazil :( . They are all great, however I think that Cristiano Ronaldo should get paid the most, as he is currently the best player in football.

      Great hub! Voted interesting!