The world’s most popular sport, football or soccer, is much more serious than ever. There are more than 3.5 billion football fans worldwide. For many of them, football is not just a game, it is like a religion. Top professional football players are earning more than other pro-athletes.
Here are the top 7 richest football players in the world :
Net Worth : $95 million
Raul may not suit up for Real Madrid, where he made €7 million a year in salary, but that hasn’t affected his bank account one iota.
Aside from a brief stint with New York Cosmos, Raul makes his mark — and money — off the field, with business ventures such as Scar Sport Europe (invests in renewable energies), Luri (a property company), and Cadmus (an energy company).
Net Worth : $108 million
Kaká is another one of those footballers who gets paid handsomely both on and off the field. Not only has he made plenty of bank playing for clubs like Real Madrid, AC Milan, São Paulo, and Orlando City, but he’s also rolling in endorsement money, courtesy of deals with companies such as Adidas, Pepsi, Samsung, Gillette, and Armani.
5. Wayne Rooney
Net Worth : $112 million
Wayne Rooney plays striker for both the English National Team and Manchester United. He is the wealthiest player in the English Premier League. Known for his strength on the field, Rooney has evolved into more than just a goal scorer.
Wayne Rooney signed a four-year contract extension worth a reported £300,000 a week with Manchester United in 2014.
4. Zlatan Ibrahimović
Net Worth : $114 Million
The Swedish striker ended his career with Paris Saint-Germain in May as its all-time leading goalscorer. After a season-long negotiation with Nike, he returned under a deal worth a reported $3 million annually through 2019.
While a hefty salary from his club team factors into his net worth, much of Ibrahimović’s money comes from endorsement deals and smart investments. According to Goal.com, he has sponsorship deals with Nivea, Xbox, Volvo, and Dressman; his investments include owning a substantial amount of property. It appears that Ibrahimović is much more than a human highlight reel.
Net Worth: $148 million
Neymar is the face of Brazilian soccer and one of the main cogs on a talented FC Barcelona team. His skills with the ball and flair for excellence on the pitch make him one of the most popular players in the sport.
His annual salary, which stands at €8.8 million a year, is small potatoes compared to his overwhelming endorsement deals, which include agreements with the likes of Nike, Panasonic, Volkswagen, Red Bull, and many more.
2. Lionel Messi
Net Worth: $218 million
Lionel Messi is not only a magician on the soccer field, but he’s a businessman off it. His lucrative contract with Barcelona pays him $50 million a year, and he has tons of endorsement deals on his plate.
Messi works with brands such as Adidas, Samsung, Gillette, Gatorade, and Dolce & Gabbana. He is arguably one of the two best soccer players in the world.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Net Worth : $230 million
It should come as no surprise that Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo tops this list. For anyone who follows the sport, Ronaldo is the absolute best of the best.
Ronaldo’s deal with Real Madrid pays him a whopping €18.2 million per year, and that number doesn’t include bonuses. He also crushes it on the endorsement front, has his own clothing line (CR7), and owns a profitable property portfolio. Plus, people seem to find him easy on the eyes, so he’s got that going for him.