Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to the Italian Serie A club Juventus is virtually confirmed but for a formal announcement. Ronaldo is said to have fallen apart with Real Madrid as the top flight La Liga club has backed out of its promise to make CR7 the highest paid professional footballer.
Ronaldo is reported to have inked the Juventus deal for a $35.7 annual salary. But does that really make the Portuguese football icon the highest paid footballer in the world?
Here are the top ten highest paid footballers:
10) Paul Pogba
The last player to feature on the list, the French mid-fielder saw a record move from Juventus to Manchester United in the year 2016. He has a £15.4 million ($ 20.37 million) per annum contract with the Manchester club.
9) Kylian Mbappe
The French prodigy who saw a move from AS Monaco to Paris Saint Germain in the winter transfer window of 2017 has been somewhat of a superstar in the recent times. Still 19, the teenage star earns £15.9 million ($21.03 million) a year in the French capital.
Another Brazilian who is far from his supreme now, Hulk has been a part of many European clubs like Zenit and FC Porto. Hulk joined the Chinese club Shanghai SIPG in the year 2016. Where he earns £17.6 million ($23.2 million) a year salary.
7) Ezequiel Lavezzi
The third Argentine to feature on the top 10 salaried football professionals’ list, Lavezzi plays for Hebei Fortune (China). The midfielder was instrumental in Argentina’s 2014 World Cup run but wasn’t able to find a spot in the 2018 Argentina squad. He earns £20.3 million ($26.8 million) a year in professional salaries from his club.
The Brazilian midfielder who was at the peak of his game in the 2014 World Cup, and has been at the helm of top European clubs like Chelsea saw a move to the Chinese giants Shanghai SIPG in 2016. Oscar has an annual fee contract for £ 21.1 million ($27.9 million).
5) Alexis Sanchez
A move which saw players being swapped between Arsenal and Manchester United in the winter transfer window of 2017 ended up giving Alexis £ 23.4 million ($30.9 million) a year. The Chilean, on the other hand, could not make it to Russia as they faltered at the last hurdle of the qualifying stage.
4) Cristiano Ronaldo
The reported transfer to the Serie A club Juventus would put Ronaldo amongst the top five highest salaried footballers. Although it will be fairly short of what Lionel Messi earns, Ronaldo would reportedly be earning €30 million ($ 35.7 million) a year. The transfer deal to bring Ronaldo to Juventus from Real Madrid is reportedly negotiated for €100 million ($116 million).
If not for his reported Juventus deal, Ronaldo would be placed 7th for his £ 18.5 million ($24.4 million) annual salary deal with Real Madrid.
The deal which made the whole footballing world realize the financial strength of the modern-day football icons for Neymar’s transfer from Barcelona to PSG, is earning the Brazilian winger £ 31.7 million ($41.9 million) in annual salaries. The winger is on duty for Brazil in the where he has scored 2 goals and created one. His team takes on Belgium in the second quarter-final today (Friday).
2) Carlos Tevez
Another Argentinian who has lived the best part of his career at top Europe Clubs like Manchester United, comes in second behind Messi. The striker is currently playing for the Shanghai Shenhua (China) and is earning £ 33.5 million ($44.3 million). The deal is set to expire this season. The striker was not a part of the Argentina World Cup 2018 squad.
1) Lionel Messi
With the new Barcelona contract, that Messi signed in 2017, the Argentine star striker has become the highest paid footballer in the world. The contract keeps Messi at his childhood club until the year 2021, while giving him £ 40.5 million ($ 53.5 million) a year.