Cristiano Ronaldo’s surprise move to Juventus made him one of the most expensive players in the world. Give that he is 33-years-old and still gets listed in the top five earners speaks volumes of his consistency and also the willingness of clubs in taking a risk to win trophies. For a long time now, Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar have occupied the top three positions in terms of both salaries and performance.
The 2018 World Cup did give us some stars like Pogba and Mbappe, but the impact of their performance will reflect in their salaries only when their contracts are renewed. Mbappe is linked to Real Madrid since the last two years and there are chances that he may become the costliest football player ever, in years to come.
There are also some surprises like Alexis Sanchez of Manchester United and Oscar, who plays in the Chinese league, as their salaries don’t match the impact they have had in the respective leagues that they play in.
Here is the list of the top five earnersannually in the football world.
Note: Only salaries are considered, minus the endorsements.
#1 Messi (£40.5m)
Arguably the greatest player to have played on this planet, Messi earns a staggering 770,000 pounds-per-week in salary. His impact on the game has been unmatched and it looks most likely that he will finish his career at the club where he has become second only to God. His records show that Messi has been ageing like Wine and his goals and assists are flowing just like they were in his early days. Messi earned £40.5m in the year 2018 as salary.
#2 Neymar (£31.7m)
Neymar left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain for a world record fee of £198million. It was a deal that smashed the transfer record which Pogba had set while coming to Manchester United.
Neymar takes home £570,000 per week and his 45 goals in 50 matches prove that he has been delivering consistently. It is all about the team gelling well and delivering the much needed Champions Trophy in the coming years. Neymar made £31.7m in wages last year.
#3 Cristiano Ronaldo (£26.6m)
Ronaldo agreed to a £500,000-a-week contract with Juventus in the summer of 2018. It was seen as a big move as at is age Ronaldo was not expecting a huge contract like this. But Juventus went all in their pursuit of the Champions League. His early season form has proved that every penny spent was worth it and there will be nothing like him delivering the missing piece of glory in the Juventus trophy cabinet. Ronaldo earned £26.6m in wages in the year 2018.
#4. Alexis Sanchez (£23.4m)
In the January transfer window of 2018, Alexis Sanchez finally arrived in Manchester, though not at the Blue side of Manchester, the Reds and signed a contract which pays him £350,000-per-week at Old Trafford.
If the bonuses and signing amounts are added into that package, he takes £500,000 every week. Sanchez was seen as the big signing which would turn Mourinho’s fortunes and make the United team a force to reckon. But that was not the case as his form dipped to a level he had never imagined and Mourinho was sacked in December due to his inability to bring the best out of Sanchez and Pogba. Sanchez earned £23.4m in salary in the year 2018.
Eventually, Mourinho was sacked in December due to his inability to bring the best out of his players (one of the many reasons), especially Sanchez and Pogba. Sanchez earned £23.4m as salary in the year 2018.
#5 Oscar (£21.1m)
The Brazilian playmaker was seen as the next best thing in the Premier League. The Chelsea team was built around him. So much so that Mourinho chose him over the Chelsea fan favourite Juan Mata who was sold to Manchester United.
However, in January 2017, Oscar gave up his European dream to sign for Shanghai SIPG in a lucrative deal making him the fifth highest wage earner in the football world. Oscar earns £400,000 per week and he earned £21.1m in purely wages in the year 2018. Just like Oscar many other Brazilians like Hulk, Pato and Ramires are playing for different Chinese clubs and earning a lot more than their European counterparts.