Football is now often regarded as the most popular sport on the planet, and with such widespread appeal comes a lot of money.
This article delves into top 20 richest football players in the world and where their money originates from.
Cristiano Ronaldo Net Worth — $500 million
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or five times, the most prestigious individual award in football. At Manchester United, Ronaldo earns more than $30 million every year.
He earns money through promoting well-known brands such as Motorola, Nike, Armani, and Tag Heuer.
According to Forbes, Ronaldo also has his own CR7 business, which offers aftershave and clothing.
With a net worth of $500 million, he is the richest football player in the world.
Lionel Messi Net Worth — $450 Million
Lionel Messi is a player known for his blazing pace and ability to dribble past many defenders and put the ball at the back of the net.
He has won the FIFA Ballon d’Or award six times. Aside from that, he’s won a slew of prestigious medals, including the World Cup Golden Ball, five European Golden Shoe championships, and a slew of other FIFA and UEFA honors.
His contract with Barcelona expired in July 2021, and he gave a press conference to announce his departure from the club. On August 10th, Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain, a French club. He committed to a two-year contract that would run until June 2023, with a third-year option. He is wearing the number 30 shirt, which he wore when he initially joined Barcelona as a teenager.
Lionel Messi’s contract with PSG pays him $42 million per year after he joined on a free transfer from Barcelona.
He also earns $27 million a year as a brand ambassador for Adidas, Gatorade, Pepsi, Gillette, and Turkish Airlines, among others.
According to Forbes, he was the second best paid athlete in the world in 2020, earning $104 million. The Argentine forward is the second richest footballer in the world, with a net worth of $450 million.
Martin Braithwaite Net Worth – $250 Million
Martin Braithwaite is considered as one of the richest footballers in the world today, following a shock move from Leganes to FC Barcelona in 2020. This is due to his real estate investments off the field.
Braithwaite and his uncle invested $850,000 in a company called NYCE Companies in 2017. The company is now worth more than $250 million in 2021.
Braithwaite was earning £85,000 per week at Barca. His net worth is estimated to be at $250 million.
Neymar Jr Net Worth — $220 Million
Neymar is a Brazilian footballer who has played for Santos, Barcelona, and Paris Saint-Germain. He is a part of Brazil’s national football team.
Neymar is one of the world’s highest-paid footballers. He signed a five-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, with a salary of $78 million.
He also earns between $20 and $40 million per year from endorsement partnerships with companies including Nike, Panasonic, Ambev, Lupo, Unilever, and Volkswagen. His current net worth is $220 million.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Net Worth — $190 Million
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a renowned Swedish soccer player. He earned a large wage at Manchester United, but he was forced to take a pay cut when he moved to the MLS club LA Galaxy and then to AC Milan.
He has played for several popular clubs, including Barcelona, Inter Milan, Paris Saint Germaine, and Manchester United.
Despite the income drop, he is estimated to have a net worth of roughly $190 million.
He has endorsement partnerships with Nivea, Xbox, Volvo, and Dressman, and he owns a significant amount of real estate.
Gareth Bale Net Worth — $140 Million
Gareth Bale is a Welsh professional soccer player who is recognized for his long-range shooting skills. In 2006, he made his football debut for Southampton, before moving on to Tottenham.
He joined Real Madrid in 2013 and was named to ESPN’s list of the World’s Most Famous Athletes in 2016.
Gareth Bale is paid $23.4 million per year by Real Madrid. The Welsh wizard has a deal with the La Liga giants that runs until 2022.
His annual sponsorship deals with Adidas, Electronic Arts, Sony, and Footlocker are for a total of £9 million ($11.5 million). His net worth is currently $140 million.
Paul Pogba Net Worth – $125 Million
Paul Pogba is a French professional soccer player with a $125 million net worth. He is currently one of the game’s most prominent figures. He now plays for Manchester United in the Premier League and for the France national team.
Pogba agreed to a five-year contract with United, reportedly paying £290,000 per week.
His current five-year contract with Manchester United, which pays him more than $20 million per season, will expire after the 2021-22 season.
Pogba was the fifth best paid footballer in 2018, according to Forbes, earning £23.2 million ($29.5 million).
Pogba inked a 10-year sponsorship deal with Adidas in 2016, reportedly worth £31 million.
Andreas Iniesta Net Worth – $120 million
Andres has a net worth of $120 million dollars. The Spanish attacking midfielder played for Barcelona for 22 years, three of which he was captain. In 2018, Iniesta signed a contract with Vissel Kobe of Japan.
He renewed his contract for another two years in May 2021. In 2012, he was crowned the UEFA Best Player in Europe, as well as the Best Player of the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League.
In 2009, he was named the La Liga Spanish Player of the Year. In 2011, he was also awarded with the Marca Legend Award.
According to Forbes, he was the world’s fifth highest paid player in 2019, earning $32.5 million.
After moving to Kobe, the player ended his long-running sponsorship with Nike and signed on with Asics and also endorses Mikakus. He earns $2.5 million in sponsorships total. He also earns extra income from Bodega Iniesta, his winery in Albacete, Spain.
Eden Hazard Net Worth — $120 Million
Eden Hazard made £12.4 million ($16 million) per year at Chelsea and is now one of Real Madrid’s highest-paid players.
The Belgian offensive midfielder is sponsored by Nike, as well as Topps trading cards and Lotus Bakeries, which makes Biscoff biscuits.
Hazard is presently regarded as one of the world’s top professional players.
Kylian Mbappe Net Worth – $110 Million
Mbappe joined PSG from Monaco in 2017 on a loan deal that was later turned permanent after PSG paid £174 million for his services.
Behind PSG colleague Neymar, he is the second most expensive football player of all time.
Forbes magazine listed Mbappe as the fourth most paid footballer in 2020, with a total earnings of $42 million, including $28 million in salary and $14 million in sponsorships.
It’s difficult to assess Mbappe’s net worth due to his quickly growing brand, but multiple sources claim he’s worth $110 million.
Mesut Ozil Net Worth – $100 million
Mesut zil is a 30-year-old German footballer who now plays for Fenerbahçe in Turkey as an attacking midfielder.
Early in 2018, the player’s contract with Arsenal was renewed, and his salary was increased to $23.7 million.
He also makes $6.5 million from endorsements and sponsorships. He has endorsement partnerships with Adidas, Mercedes-Benz, and Beats by Dre, to name a few.
Mohamed Salah Net Worth – $90 Million
Salah joined Liverpool in 2017 for a cost of £36.5 million and signed a three-year contract worth £90,000 per week. He signed a contract extension in 2018 that will keep him at Anfield until 2023 and pay him £220,000 a week.
Salah’s contract extension made him one of the highest-paid football players in the Premier League, with Paul Pogba, Kevin Debruyne, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and David De Gea, who are among the best-paid players in the league.
Mo Salah’s net worth is estimated to be $90 million by Celebrity Net Worth, up from $3 million when he first joined Liverpool.
Antoine Griezmann Net Worth – $90 Million
Antoine Griezmann is a French professional footballer who currently plays for Atlético Madrid on loan from Barcelona and for the France national team.
Griezmann signed a five-year contract with Barcelona after leaving Atletico Madrid for an estimated 120 million euros.
He currently earns over 300,000 euros each week and has a net worth of around $90 million.
Puma, Beats Electronics, and Gillette have all signed sponsorship deals with the Frenchman.
Robert Lewandowski Net Worth – $85 Million
In 2014, Robert Lewandowski joined FC Bayern Munich from Borrussia Dortmund. He has established himself as one of the most dangerous strikers in recent memory, with over 500 goals to his credit.
He is the highest-paid player in the Bundesliga. His contract with FC Bayern expires in 2023, and he earns £350,000 per week. In 2021, Lewandowski’s net worth is estimated to be at $85 million.
Gerard Pique Net Worth – $80 Million
Gerard Pique has been at the core of FC Barcelona’s defense for almost a decade.
Gerard Piqué’s contract was extended to June 20, 2024 in 2020, with a buy-out clause of 500 million euros.
Pique agreed to a 50% pay cut from his 30 million euro annual wage due to Barcelona’s financial difficulties.
Outside of football, Pique has invested in Sorare, a digital alternative to the long-standing tradition of football trading cards.
In addition, the 34-year-old is the founder and president of Kosmos Holding, a sports and media investment firm he founded alongside Hiroshi Mikitani (founder and chairman of Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten, Inc.), Edmund Chu, Nullah Sarker, and Mike Evans.
Sergio Agüero Net Worth – $80 Million
The former Manchester City forward was paid £10.4 million ($13.3 million) by the club, but his sponsors, Puma and Pepsi, paid him £14 million ($18 million).
After joining the Lliga giants on a free transfer, he was forced to take a pay cut at Barcelona.
Sergio Ramos Net Worth – $80 Million
Sergio Ramos has been a key player of Real Madrid’s team since joining them from Sevilla in 2005. Few defenders can match his brilliance as a defender, which he began as a right back before moving to a center back later in his career.
His Real Madrid contract expired in 2021, forcing him to join PSG on a free transfer. He is one of PSG’s biggest earners, with a weekly salary of about £400,000. In 2021, his net worth is expected to be $80 million.
Luka Modric Net Worth – $75 Million
Luka Modric won the 2018 Balon D’or after outstanding performances in the 2018 World Cup and with Real Madrid. He has progressed into one of the best midfielders of the last decade.
Since his days at Spurs and now Real Madrid, the Croatian has been a joy to watch. Real Madrid’s midfield maestro makes $250,000 each week, making him one of the best-paid footballers in the world. In 2021, he will have a net worth of $75 million.
David DeGea Net Worth – $75 Million
De Gea has been the best-paid goalkeeper in the world for a long time, thanks to his early outstanding achievements at Old Trafford.
Manchester United’s number one contract is worth £375,000 per week and extends until 2023.
Karim Benzema Net Worth – $70 Million
Benzema has established himself as one of the world’s most deadly strikers, having scored over 300 goals for France and the national team.
Benzema will be at the Bernabeu until 2023, according to his current deal. His weekly salary is estimated to be £294,000.
He has sponsorship partnerships with Adidas, Hyundai, and Bwin, among others. All of these, in addition to his company investments, boost his annual profits.
In 2021, his net worth is estimated to be over $70 million.