The top five earning players in European football have been revealed – with Lionel Messi astonishingly earning more than double the amount of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The details of Messi’s Barcelona contract were controversially leaked in January and it was revealed to be perhaps the biggest deal in sporting history.
Ronaldo – who’s unsurprisingly second on the list – earns “only” £900,000 in his weekly wage packet from Juventus, according to L’Equipe. Still an impressive £46.7 million per year, but less than half of Messi’s salary.
In third place is Neymar, the most expensive player in history. The 29-year-old Brazilian forward earns £606,000 per week (£31.5 million per year) from Paris Saint-Germain.
Joint fourth on the list are two further players from La Liga. Luis Suarez is being paid a reported £575,000 per week by Atletico Madrid since his move from Barcelona last year, while Barca’s Antoine Griezmann earns something similar: just under £30 million per year.
Messi earning the highest wage in Europe is no surprise, given his importance on and off the pitch to Barcelona.
But it is perhaps a surprise he’s on more than double Ronaldo’s wage, as the Portuguese is often called the most marketable athlete on the planet. This was undoubtedly part of the reason Juve spent so much to sign the No 7.
It’s notable that no Premier League players are involved. Aside from Gareth Bale – whose salary is part paid by Real Madrid – Manchester United’s David de Gea is the division’s best-paid player according to reports. But he’s on nowhere near £30 million per year.
Kylian Mbappe will apparently get a salary increase to €30 million per season if he signs a new PSG contract.
But that still only works out as about £25.7 million per year for the 22-year-old. So not quite enough to crack the incredibly high earners at the top of this list.