The most promising soccer players are not only famous for putting up an excellent show on the field, but also for signing expensive contracts with famed football clubs and drawing a handsome salary, in addition to numerous endorsements that vouch for their marketability.
It's a well-known fact that football is the world's favorite and most-watched sport. Over the decades, it's become as lucrative as it is fun. Indeed, money and football go hand-in-hand in the professional world. And for the lucky few, six-figure salaries are something run-of-the-mill, some well-known players such as Messi and Ronaldo are amongst the highest earning athletes not only in football but in the world of sports in general. Then there are the ordinary football enthusiasts, whose deep love for the game can't be extended to skills on the pitch, so instead they try their hands at an entertaining football-themed online slot, offering some great free spins. After all, that might possibly be the only profitable game they're able to play in their lifetime.
It is not uncommon to find that the best football players are also some of the highest-paid athletes, in general. Here are eight such football players who earn millions due to their excellent on-field reputation and star value.
Neymar Jr.Neymar is one of the most prominent, reputable, and bankable names in the football universe. This young Brazilian professional footballer earns an impressive estimated annual salary of USD 42.5 million.
Famous for featuring in FC Barcelona alongside fellow sporting greats such as Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, Neymar shifted to Paris-Saint Germain after signing a record-breaking $261.5 million deal in 2017. The Brazilian also bagged lucrative sponsorship deals with RedBull and Puma that bring him an additional $25 million annually.
Lionel MessiMessi is a sight for sore eyes whenever he plays on the field and stuns audiences every time with his impressive form. The player is also the world's highest-paid footballer and has a net worth of $400 million. He has also been the highest-paid player in the LaLiga Santander for several years.
After departing from FC Barcelona, Messi moved on to PSG with fellow teammate and friend Neymar, pocketing a $295,000 sign-on fee. Messi's bank balance grows exponentially given his high salary and other sponsorship deals with brands such as Adidas and Pepsi.
Cristiano RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo is one of the highest-earning footballers, tying with Messi and Neymar in terms of net worth sometimes. The Portuguese goal machine has a net worth of about $500 million.
The 37-year-old player draws a weekly salary of $690,000 and is the face of major brands such as Tag Heuer and Nike. Ronaldo also possesses a diverse investment portfolio that features names like Volkswagen and Apple.
Gerard PiqueAnother popular name in the world of football, Pique is a club legend with an estimated net worth of $80 million. The Spaniard is one of the most expensive defenders in the world.
Despite taking an enormous salary cut to extend his stay with Barcelona, Pique is still earning a handsome annual salary of $23.8 million. The defender is currently the fourth most well-paid footballer in the world.
Gareth BaleThis Welsh footballer is known as one of the star players of Real Madrid, which paid $100 million for him in 2013. The transfer was a record-breaking deal at the time. Currently, Bale enjoys a net worth of about $150 million.
In addition to his salary, the 32-year-old striker earns about $11 million annually from brand endorsements.
Kylian MbappeThe young player is a force to reckon with on the field and boasts of an impressive worth of $176 million. The striker has a promising career in front of him and has a financially abundant life given the number of brand endorsements in his kitty.
The Frenchman currently plays for PSG and is expected to move to Real Madrid in 2022. He makes about $13 million from endorsement deals with Nike, EA Sports, and Hublot.
Kevin De BruyneLast but not the least is Belgian pro footballer Kevin De Bruyne, who is known as a top midfielder playing for Manchester City. Bruyne has a net worth of $30 million as of 2022. The Belgian football team captain is also the second most well-paid player in the Premier League.
With several endorsements, such as Nike, EA Sports, and Orange, the versatile athlete earns $19.1 million yearly.