If rumors are to be believed, Gareth Bale is on his way to Jiangsu Suning in the Chinese Super League. If the deal goes through the Welshman could earn more than £1 million per week. That sum would make him the highest-paid player based on salary. Real Madrid are looking to offload him, and the move could soon become a reality. But for now, we will have to contend with the other players who are earning the big bucks.
As money in football is growing faster than ever, it is natural that the most valuable commodities will get the most money in this rigmarole – the players. Wages at elite clubs across the world are entering new levels in this age. Aside from the job the players do on the pitch, their brand and impact off the pitch make the investment from the club worthwhile. On that note, here are the highest-paid football players in 2019 based on yearly salary.
#7 Kylian Mbappe – €17.5 millionEmbed from Getty Images
The French youngster is just 20, but he has reached great heights in his career already. He has three league titles in France and a World Cup to his name already. Since his move to Paris Saint-Germain, his wages have taken a huge jump as well. Mbappe is reportedly earning €17.5 million this year as salary from the French club.
The State of Qatar owns PSG and their financial might has been clear. Players get huge gains in terms of wages, and Mbappe is a clear example of the same. When he left Monaco for PSG in 2017, Mbappe got a wage rise of more than 2000%. He was earning around £16,000 at Monaco.
#6 Ezequiel Lavezzi – €23.1 millionEmbed from Getty Images
Lavezzi is not as good as some of the players in this list, but he is doing quite well for himself financially. Since his move to Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune in 2016, his wages have gone up to €23.1 million per year. Lavezzi is past his prime, and the performances on the pitch have arguably not merited such a salary.
His first campaign at the club yielded zero goals in the league. He scored 20 goals the next season and has shown glimpses of the player he was at Napoli and PSG. His output has dwindled, but the opposite has happened with his wages.
#5 Andres Iniesta – €27 millionEmbed from Getty Images
Iniesta is another player for whom a move away from Europe was conducive financially. The Barcelona legend left the club last season after more than 15 years at the club. Barcelona wanted to keep the veteran for another season, but Iniesta wanted to explore other regions in his dwindling career. He moved to Japanese side Vissel Kobe and became the best-paid player in the whole of Japan.
The Spaniard makes around €27 million in wages at Vissel Kobe. He is playing with the likes of David Villa and Lukas Podolski at Vissel Kobe and has provided many great moments on the pitch already. He is not at the level of a couple of years ago, but a man of his status can be forgiven for going for that bulge in his pocket.
#4 Alexis Sanchez – €28.8 millionEmbed from Getty Images
Since his move to Manchester United, Alexis Sanchez’s career has taken a downward trajectory. He is a shadow of the player he was at Arsenal. The only positive thing about his move is a huge financial gain. Sanchez makes €28.8 million at the club in wages per year, and he is the highest-paid player in the Premier League. Sanchez has managed just five goals so far in his United career.
#3 Cristiano Ronaldo – €31 millionEmbed from Getty Images
Ronaldo was earning big bucks at Madrid, and that has not changed since his move to Turin. Juventus pay him €31 million annually, and he deserves all of it. The Portuguese has kept up his high level in Italy in his debut season. He scored 28 goals last season for Juventus, and Maurizio Sarri will hope for more of the same this season as well.
#2 Neymar Jr. – €36.8 millionEmbed from Getty Images
Neymar’s move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 was something which few people expected. One of the reasons for his departure from Barcelona was the monetary gain he was offered in Paris. The Brazilian star earns €36.8 million each year in basic wages from the club. Aside from this, he has a host of other sources of income in the French capital.
Barcelona are rumoured to be behind Neymar this summer, and he is willing to return to Spain. If the move materialises, the Catalans will have a tough time finding the money to maintain his wages. There’s a certain Lionel Messi to be paid as well.
#1 Lionel Messi – €40 millionEmbed from Getty Images
Messi’s importance to Barcelona has kept on increasing, and it is not surprising to see him leading this list. The Argentine is the whole and soul of this Barcelona squad, and the club president would not have hesitated for a second before offering him this salary. Barcelona would crumble without Messi’s presence on the pitch, and the statistics tell the same story. He recorded 51 goals and 22 assists for Barcelona last season. Messi’s mastery is showing no sign of waning, and neither are his wages.