The World’s Top 20 Football Earners

The exciting world of football is rife with players earning astronomical salaries these days.

The World’s Top 20 Football Earners

The exciting world of football is rife with players earning astronomical salaries these days. It’s notsurprising, given that football has become the most widely watched sport in all of human history. In the recent 2018 world cup, the average number of viewers was around 20 million fans for each of the England games. That’s right… 20 million! That’s a significant percentage of the English population. In fact, it’s nearly half of the country’s 52 million residents, according to UK population estimates fromthis Guardian article (1). This just shows the level of popularity that the sport has achieved.

Where there are fans and popularity, there’s also money and fame. Many top-league footballers from the majority of developed countries now earn salaries well within the millions of equivalent Great British Pounds. This information isn’t secret. In fact, it’s widely known and regularly reported in headlines.


This brilliant BBC article is the perfect example (2). It offers you the chance to find out how long it would take for you to earn the equivalent salary of your favourite top-level footballers.As an example, on a salary of £25,000, it would take you 814 years to earn the same amount that Gareth Bale earns in a single year, meaning that you’d have nearly achieved this lofty income goal if you’d started earning in the year 1205!And these figures were from 2015. Bale’s salary is now far in excess of this 2015 20,000,000 figure.


This is not an extreme case. Here’s a list of thecurrent top 20 football earners according to, along with their yearly salaries (at the time of writing):


1)      Lionel Messi:                    $110,696,721

2)      Cristiano Ronaldo:            $107,704,918

3)      Neymar, Jr:                      $89,754,098

4)      Gareth Bale:                    $34,505,464

5)      Paula Pogba:                    $29,419,398

6)      Oscar:                             $27,325,136

7)      Wayne Rooney:                $26,926,229

8)      Luis Suarez:                     $26,826,502

9)      Sergio Aguero:                 $23,435,792

10)   Angel Di Maria:                $22,538,251

11)   KylianMbappe:                 $22,438,524

12)   Thiago Silva:                   $22,338,797

13)   James Rodriguez:            $22,039,617

14)   Graziano Pelle:                $22,039,617

15)   Hulk:                              $21,939,890

16)   Zlatan Ibrahimovic:         $20,942,622

17)   Gerd Pique:                    $20,743,169

18)   Antoine Griexmann:        $19,646,174

19)   Yaya Toure:                    $19,546,448

20)   EdinsonCavani:               $19,446,721


As you can see, the world’s top 20 football earners come from all around the world and play for teams that are equally as widespread. This list also demonstratesthat the top three or four football earners make vastly greater sums of money than the rest, showing that there truly are levels to this game! The bottom ten earn within $2,991,803 of each other, which is small (relatively!) considering that the difference between the top five is a whopping $81,820,323.



The trend of increasing footballers’ salaries is only going one way. According to this Guardian article(3), the wages of top-earning footballers increased by 1500% in the 20 yearsup to 2012. As a reference, the average UK working wage increased by 186% in the same period, and this disparity is expected to rise. With the popularity of the sport continuing, and with many of us flocking to watch our favourite teams and players, week in week out, this trend is likely to continue for many years.









Date Of Update: 20 May 2019, 04:32

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