A number of factors determine the weekly wages of a player and they include the player’s abilities on the field, the club they are playing for, the level of football they are playing at, and their marketability in terms of jersey sales.
The income of a player can also increase through other factors such as the bonuses gotten per goal, the number of assists provided, hat trick scored, clean sheet left, and trophies won.
The richest football players in the world earn money both on and off the pitch through salaries and endorsements. They also make money via business investments.
Many footballers also receive wages playing for their countries, although the amount wouldn’t be compared to how much they earn from clubs.
In the past few years, the salary of footballers has been on the rise. The sport has been growing both in the fanbase and revenue collection and as this has been happening, there has been an upward revision in the players’ salaries. This is very reason behind the wealth of modern footballers which surpasses that of the greats who played the sport couple of years ago.
Sports24 brings to you, the richest footballers in 2021. In descending order, they include:
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Lionel Messi
- Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic
- Wayne Rooney
- Gareth Bale
- Paul Pogba
- Mesut Ozil
- Eden Hazard
- Kylian Mbappe
- Mohamed Salah
- Robert Lewandowski
- Arjen Robben
- Gerard Pique
- Mario Balotelli
Net worth: $500 million
Cristiano Ronaldo is the richest football player in the world with a net worth of $500 million . In 2020, the revenue he made summed up to a total of $117 million including an annual salary of $70 million.
His transfer to Juventus FC in 2018 came with his receiving a salary and endorsements pay of $61 million and $47 million respectively.
His endorsement deals earned him more than 40% of his income in 2019.
Net worth: $400 million
You definitely expected to see Lionel Messi on this list, right?
Lionel Messi’s net worth is placed at a net worth of $400 million. His income on a yearly basis is $126 million. His salary earns him $92 million while he makes $34 million from endorsements.
In 2020 alone, Lionel Messi made $104 million.
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior
Net worth: $200 million
In 2017, Neymar who is among the richest footballers in 2021 signed a 5-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain which earned him a salary worth $350 million.
In 2020 alone, Neymar made $95.5 million in earnings.
His salary earned him $70.5 million while his endorsements earned him $25 million
Net worth: $190 million
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one the richest footballers in 2021 and has played for various top clubs across Europe, including Ajax, Barcelona, Manchester United, Inter Milan, PSG, and AC Milan.
Throughout Zlatan’s football career, he has won over 30 trophies and earned millions in wages.
Net worth: $170 million
The former Manchester United player, Wayne, Rooney’s net worth of $170 million has mostly come from the salaries he has earned while playing for various clubs in England and the United States.
According to Forbes release in 2018, Wayne Rooney was placed at #58 among the world’s highest-paid athletes in the world. He earned $27 million that year. His primary source of wealth is football earnings but although this, he also earns from the endorsement deals he has with different companies.
Net worth: $145 million
Gareth Bale is a famous player with Real Madrid FC in a contract worth $33 million in bonuses and salary.
In 2020, he was placed at #73 according in Forbes ranking for the world’s highest-paid athletes and had an annual earning of $25.2 million. A salary of $19.7 million and an endorsement earning of $5.5 contributed to Gareth Bale’s net worth of $145 million. He moved to his former club Tottenham during 2020 summer transfer window.
Net worth: $125 million
Paul Pogba is among the richest footballers in 2021 and joined the Red Devils in 2016 in a transfer that was said to have a record-breaking fee of $120 million. His contract was a 5-year deal and was worth $20 million annually.
Paul Pogba made $28.5 million in 2020. This came from his salary of $23 million and his endorsement earnings of $5.5 million.
Net worth: $120 million
Are you surprised that Mesut Ozil made it to this list of the richest footballers in 2021? He is obviously one of the richest footballers in 2021 according to the contract he signed with Arsenal FC that would have him stay at the London club until 2021. His services at Arsenal have been earning him $24 million annually.
His net worth of $120 million is not just a make-up of his salary but comprises of his endorsements and business interests too.
Ozil is the founder of M10 eSports in 2018. M10 eSports team competes in Fortnite and EA Sports FIFA competitions.
Net worth: $100 million
Joining Real Madrid on 1 June 2019 on a 5-year contract that will keep him at the club until 2024 an at a transfer fee of $126.50 million, Eden Hazard is among the richest footballers in 2021
Eden Hazard is currently among the highest-paid footballers in Real Madrid as he receives a whopping amount of $250,000 after taxes weekly. He also has bonuses added to his base wage. The amount he earns was a major contribution and significant contribution to his net worth of $100 million.
Net worth: $95 million
The French international, Kylian Mbappe is one the richest footballers in 2021 and makes $20 million yearly from salaries and performance bonuses at his current club, Paris Saint-Germain.
In the world’s highest-paid athletes release of 2020, Forbes ranked Mbappe at #36 with an exceptional income of $33.8 million.
At age 21, Mbappe has a net worth of $95 million and has the following make up; his salaries and endorsements.
Net worth: $90 million
With a net worth of $90 million, Mohamed Salah is known to be the richest footballer in Africa.
Having had a wonderful time at Liverpool, the Egyptian forward renewed his contract with Liverpool FC that would keep him at the club for additional five years.
According to 2020 ranking of the highest-paid athlete in the world, Salah was the placed at the 34th position with an annual income of $35.1 million. $12 million from his annual income came from endorsements.
Net worth: $85 million
Robert Lewandowski is among the richest footballers in 2021 and plays for Bayern Munich.
Robert Lewandowski joined the German side in the year 2014 on a free transfer and got his contract with the club renewed in 2019. This renewed contract will keep him at Bayern Munich until 2023.
With the renewed contract, Lewandowski will be earning a base salary of $24 million annually.
In the year 2020, record has it that he was one of the highest-paid footballers in the world after earning $30 million.
Net worth: $80 million
The Netherland international, Arjen Robben as a professional footballer, has played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Arjen Robben left Real Madrid in 2009 and signed for Bayern Munich where he played for ten years. He was transferred for $27.50 million.
As of 2020, the Netherland international’s salary and his accumulated net worth is at $7.5 million and $80 million respectively.
Net worth: $80 million
Gerard Pique is one of the richest footballers in 2021 and is among the most celebrated Spanish professional footballers.
He was transferred from Manchester United to Barcelona in 2008 for $5.50m.
In 2017, Gerard Pique was among the highest-paid footballers with yearly earnings of $17.7 million.
As of the year 2020, his salary is $10 million.
Net worth: $80 million
2020 had Mario Balotelli join AC Monza after playing for Brescia for a year.
He played for seven clubs throughout his career but despite this, he was able to receive huge salaries due to his talent on the field
In 2014, Mario Balotelli had an estimated net worth of $35 million, which has now had an increment to $80 million in 2020. His yearly income is $7 million.