Messi, Ronaldo, and Antoine leading the list highest paid footballers 2020.
Being a professional footballer at the top level really is the dream job, as you get to play the sport you love for a living, safe in the knowledge that you’ll be financially comfortable.
It’s no secret that the best players in the world earn an extortionate sum every month, with clubs in Europe forking out astronomical fees to keep their superstars happy; although that is easier said than done in some cases.
Without further ado, in an annual financial summary produced by L’Equipe, here are the ten highest-earning footballers in Europe.
10) Mesut Ozil (Arsenal):
Perhaps it’s a surprise to see Mesut Ozil in this top ten, but the former World Cup winner is in fact the Premier League’s second best-paid player, raking in £1.4m every month.
The 30-year-old penned his new deal in February 2018, keeping him at Arsenal until the end of the 2020/21 campaign, and it’s hard to see why he would leave the Emirates if he’s making that kind of money in north London.
Ozil, who has six goals and three assists in all competitions this season, is a player that certainly divides opinion.
Monthly salary: £1.4m
Yearly salary: £16.8m
9) Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain):
Imagine being 20 years old and knowing you’re earning £1.5m every month, just for playing the sport you love. Well, that’s the life Kylian Mbappe is currently living.
It does help that he plays for one of the richest clubs in the world in PSG, who aren’t short of a few bobs, which has meant they can comfortably afford the current deal he’s on.
The World Cup winner has enjoyed an impressive season on a personal level, netting 36 goals in all competitions for the Parisian club this campaign, although his goalscoring efforts have only resulted in PSG winning Ligue 1 when the domestic treble is now considered the bare minimum for them.
Monthly salary: £1.5m
Yearly salary: £18m
8) Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United):
Yes, Alexis Sanchez in the Premier League’s best-paid player at £1.99m-a-week.
It seems a lifetime ago that the Chilean international was tickling the ivories on the Old Trafford turf in January 2018, as Manchester United gazumped their city rivals to sign the forward from Arsenal.
The 30-year-old has found the net just five times in 44 appearances for the Red Devils, with recent reports suggesting United are willing to pay £13m to get Sanchez off their books this summer – putting an end to a torrid time for all concerned.
Monthly salary: £1.99m
Yearly salary: £23.88m
7) Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona):
It’s our first visit to La Liga now and we find Philippe Coutinho making the very tidy sum of £2m every month at Camp Nou.
The former Liverpool man became the third most expensive player in football history when he completed the move in January 2018 for £142m, although things haven’t quite worked out the Brazilian.
Despite his struggles, Coutinho could still finish this season by winning a treble, with La Liga already won, and he was part of the Barcelona side that put three past his former club in their recent Champions League semi-final first-leg.
Monthly salary: £2m
Yearly salary: £24m
6) Gareth Bale (Real Madrid):
It’s Barcelona’s fierce rivals Real Madrid who make their only entry on the list in the shape of Gareth Bale’s £2.2m monthly wage.
Despite this, the 29-year-old has won no fewer than 14 trophies at Los Blancos – including four Champions Leagues – while his tally of 102 goals in 231 games for the club points to a successful stint in Spain; one that may come to an end this season.
Monthly salary: £2.2m
Yearly salary: £26.4m
5) Luis Suarez (Barcelona):
Into the top five now and it’s Barcelona’s Luis Suarez up next, who has been swimming in money since his switch from Liverpool in 2014.
After signing a contract extension in 2016, that will see him remain at Camp Nou until 2021, it’s the polarising Uruguayan forward now earns £2.5m-per-month.
His goal touch, along with his reputation, traveled with him from England to Spain, as Suarez has netted 177 goals in 246 games; which is why he’s considered one of the best strikers in world football.
Monthly salary: £2.5m
Yearly salary: £30m
4) Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain):
The 27-year-old, who commanded a £198m transfer fee to move from Barcelona to PSG in 2017, has scored 49 goals in 56 games for the Parisian club so far, while he’s won every trophy possible for the club except the Champions League – which he won during his time at Barça.
Despite being contracted to PSG until 2022, it hasn’t stopped the Brazil international being linked with a move away from France’s capital, and he could be available for €170m next summer due to a clause in his current contract.
Monthly salary: £2.7m
Yearly salary: £32.4m
3) Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid):
The 28-year-old’s contract extension came in the summer of 2018, as the Frenchman opted to stay in Spain’s capital rather than join Barcelona, with him letting the footballing world know through a video titled ‘The Decision’.
The World Cup winner has been at Atleti since 2014 and has scored 133 goals for the club – although Barcelona’s continued interest in the forward has cast doubt regarding his future.
Monthly salary: £2.9m
Yearly salary: £34.8m
2) Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus):
It was only ever going to be two players at the top of this list, and it’s Cristiano Ronaldo who has to settle for second place.
His summer move from Real Madrid to Juventus certainly sorted Portugal’s all-time leading goalscorer out financially, with the forward earning an astounding £4.1m every month, on a deal running until 2022.
The 34-year-old’s place in footballing history is already confirmed, whether it be for his five Ballon d’Or titles, being Real Madrid’s all-time leading goalscorer or scoring the most Champions League goals in history.
Monthly salary: £4.1m
Yearly salary: £49.2m
1) Lionel Messi (Barcelona):
Who else. If Cristiano Ronaldo is second on a list, it usually means that Lionel Messi is going to be number one, and that proves to be the case once again due to him earning £7.3m every month.
That’s a lot of money admittedly, but due to the amount of joy he supplies the footballing world on an almost regular basis, most people will make an exception for a player many consider the greatest of all time.
His last contract extension came in 2017, although it looks as if Messi will remain in Barcelona until the end of time, such is his importance to the side. At 31, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has shown no signs of slowing down and there is likely plenty more to come.
Monthly salary: £7.3m
Yearly salary: £87.6m
Here are some more footballers that were in the discussion and warrant honorable mention status:
- Paul Pogba
- Andres Iniesta
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic
- Dave Whelan
- Virgil Van Dijk