International Players

Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar: who is the best paid player in the world?

Soccer players' salaries have become the media topic of the last few months. Exorbitant salaries, salary reductions and millionaire transfers. Here is everything about the highest paid players in the world.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi was the highest-paid footballer in the world in the 2020-2021 season. The Argentine, who left Barcelona and joined PSG, earned a total of U$S130 million in his last year at the Catalan club. This figure makes him the highest paid footballer in the world, with a salary of no less than U$S97 million thanks to his performance on the pitch, plus another U$S 33 million from sponsorship and advertising contracts.

Although it has not yet been confirmed how much the contract between PSG and Messi amounts to, it is estimated that the Argentine national team player will earn a salary of around u$s75 million per year in the season starting this August, not counting possible bonuses and payments for player rights, such as the sale of jerseys. 

Cristiano Ronaldo, ranks second on the scale of the highest paid players, with a total income of u$s120 million, of which u$s50 million comes from sponsorships. The Portuguese has arrived in Manchester and is preparing for his debut in the next match of the Red Devils.

In third place is Neymar, who receives approximately u$s95 million, of which u$s76 million is for working his magic on the pitch, which is the second highest salary in the world if advertising revenue is excluded. But they are not the only ones earning millions of dollars, although the figure drops from fourth place, where Kylian Mbappé is located, who had an income of u$s40 million in the last season.

In fifth place is Mohamed Salah, who received approximately $37.5 million, followed by Paul Pogba, who had an income of $35.5 million and in seventh place in the ranking is Andrés Iniesta, who added about $34 million to his pocket last season.

How much Barcelona owes Messi

Messi's story with Barcelona is not over: the Catalan club owes him u$s52 million. The main responsible for this situation is José María Bartomeu, former president of Barcelona, who met with the squad to renegotiate contracts in 2020 due to the suspension of competitions in the face of the lockout and the reduction of income. Thus, Messi accepted the figure of 52 million and now the lawyers of the current PSG player want to reach an agreement to determine when this debt will be paid, which the Catalans would pay in the remainder of 2021 and 2022.

The economic storm that passed through Barcelona and took away Messi

Barcelona's spending exceeded 700 million, but was reduced to 410 million last season and is expected to be further reduced for next season. Messi tried to leave Barca last summer after falling out with former club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, but ended up staying against his will.

He believed a clause in his contract allowed him to leave for free, but Barca said that was not the case. Faced with the start of a legal battle, Messi backed out and remained at the soccer club.  Carlos Tusquets, interim president of Barcelona, responded in November 2020 for the first time to a question about the Argentine's salary and stated that "we cannot make a tailor-made suit for Lionel Messi's salary."

LaLiga Vs. Barcelona:

The rules of LaLiga, where Spain's top flight soccer teams play, are designed to keep clubs sustainable by limiting their players' salaries to a percentage of their revenue. However, Barcelona recently incurred a debt of more than $1 billion as it finds itself in its deepest economic crisis in recent times and its president Joan Laporta is expected to explain the situation at a press conference from the Camp Nou auditorium this Friday. "Despite having reached an agreement with Messi and with the clear will of both parties to sign a new contract, it cannot be finalized due to financial and structural problems," the soccer club said in a statement.

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