"The money you make is the symbol of the value you create" Idowu Koyenikan was not wrong. Football has evolved through the years, and so has the business part of it. These days, you don't just play for passion but to make a living, and clubs don't just represent the city but break a bank. Business moguls yearn to invest their assets in football; no wonder the potential of turning a profit is higher, especially in the most popular sport we have ever witnessed. 

With all those billion-dollar contracts, agreements, and month-long bidding to own a club, the players' salary and wealth have a part to play. So, we have compiled a list of the richest footballers on the planet based on their career earnings and money earned from their talent or fame.
Sportsmen tend to make more money after retirement, primarily through merchandise and media involvement. However, this list is strictly limited to active footballers and their net worth in 2022.

10. Mesut Ozil - Germany/Fenerbahçe


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $120 Million US $3.5 Million per annum Nike (2012), Adidas (2020 onwards) Mercedes Benz (2016), Beats Electronics

Before Nglolo Kante, Mesut Ozil was the most beloved player off the field. However, his career couldn't go more sideways considering the trajectory he was in a while at Real Madrid. One of the highest-paid players in 2020, Ozil sure was worth every penny during the early bits of his career.

Ozil signed six years contract worth 5 Million Euros (tax included) with Real Madrid back in 2010. He eventually switched to the premier league's then-elite Arsenal in 2013 with a transfer sum of around $50 Millon agreeing to an annual salary of 8.5 Million Euros. Later, he renewed his contract, earning 28.7 Millon Dollars per year in 2020. (Source: Forbes)

Honorable Mentions

Faiq Bolkiah - Brunei / Chonburi FC


Faiq Bolkiah has a net worth of US $20 Billion inherited from his royal title and family background. 

As strange as it sounds, Bolkiah is the wealthiest professional footballer and falls right into the elite club regarding money and luxury, born with a silver spoon. Son of Jefri Bolkiah has enough money to buy a soccer club for himself, but the entirety of the sum is inheritance and family wealth.

He did showcase some talent as a striker for Leicester City Fc but never convinced Fox fans to hand him a contract. Eventually, he took a leap in the dark to revive his career with Chonburi FC In Thailand.

David Beckham - US $450 Million

Dave Wheelan - US $220 Million

Wayne Rooney - US $145 Million

Pele - US $120 Million

Kaka - US $95 Million

Samuel Eto - US $95 Millon

Didier Drogba - US $90 Million

Here, we have included the richest footballers out there who have either retired or made their whole earnings outside the field or even inheritance. 

1. Cristiano Ronaldo - Portugal/Manchester United FC


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $490 Million US $29.4 per annum Nike, Armani, Clear Shampoo, Unilever, Herbalife, American Tourister, CR7 Brands, Tag Heuer

Rich as Croesus is everyone's dream but CR7 is living it as one of the highest-paid players in the world. On the field, Ronaldo will be the highest earner whichever club he plays for but the real deal of money comes from his off-the-field image.

With hard work and a little bit of talent, Cristiano's transfer to Manchester United In 2003 under his football father Sir Alex Ferguson was a turning point in his career. signed for 15 million euros and add-ons, he would stay with the Red devils for 7 seasons which were the most crucial years for his development. Towards the last years at Manchester, CR7 made 7 million pounds a year in salary and 12 million pounds in endorsements.

In 2010, he made a blockbuster move to Santiago Bernabeu signed for 80 million pounds which was the most expensive transfer during the time. Revised contracts over the years, Ronaldo made an average of around 26 million euros per year while at Madrid. During that time, he won 4 Champion Leagues and 4 Ballon Do'rs adding to his impressive 32 senior trophies and 5 best player awards.



Signed to Juve in 2018 after a 100 million euros transfer, CR7 earned 29 million euros a year after penning 4 years contract. Fast forward to 2021, his transfer to Premier League signing for the second stint with Man United guaranteed him a salary of 26 million pounds per annum for 2 years. As the season folded and The Red Devils could not make it to the champions league, Ronaldo's transfer rumors have been swirling around.

Entertainment, fashion, events, social media you name it, Cristiano has stamps all over them. Instagram's most-followed celebrity, CR7 makes at least 1.7 million euros per post. Besides, he also has his own luxury brand with eyewear, footwear, underwear, and fragrances under CR7. I should not even start with his watches and car collections as Rolls Royce, Buggati, Mclaren, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, Mercedes, BMW, Aston Martin, Maserati, Porsche, and Audi sums up his garage with over 20 cars.

2. Lionel Messi - Argentina/Paris Saint-Germain F.C


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $430 Million US $42.44 per annum Lays, Adidas, Pepsi Co, Budweiser, Mastercard, PES, Socios

Here come the goats at two and one, you can argue who is the greatest player in football history and Messi is either top or second to top. I personally think this is the biggest puzzle you will scratch your head over as there have never been two players with that level of personal competition in the same era and literally for the same amount of years. Unfortunately, we are not listing the GOATs but the money these players have been making, and Messi was the highest earner in Football before Mbappe signed a lucrative contract with PSG extending his services to Paris for 3 more years. 

Back in 2003, the short kid out of La Masia could dazzle the opposition's entire starting eleven as if a snake had a foot. Promoted to the senior squad, Barca embraced their greatest ever player after his debut goal with an assist from Ronaldinho.

Within a year, he signed his first professional contract worth 600 euros a month then in 2005, he resigned with the club agreeing to 3 million per annum. Within 3 months, the paper would be restricted doubling his salary. In March 2007, he got a raise of 100,000 euros a week and In less than a year, Leo was already the highest earner in the Barcelona squad surpassing Ronaldinho.

He then signed another contract in 2009 keeping him at the club till 106 with a release clause of 250 million euros. Fast forward to 2016, Messi became the highest earner in football after penning a lifetime contract with Barcelona under Josep Maria Bartomeu. NBC Sports reported that Leo earned over 674 million dollars during the last 4 years at Camp Nou.



On the field, Messi won everything with Barca including the 35 club trophies in league titles, champions league, Copas, and club world cups. Additionally, he is a 6-time Ballon Dór winner, the most prestigious personal award in football.

In 2021, he booked his flight to Paris after locking a contract worth 110 million euros for 3 years. Besides his on-field earnings, arguably the GOAT is the face of the major franchises and business giants like Lays, PepsiCo, Budweiser, and Nike boots. As a car enthusiast, Leo has a wide range of supercars and some classic ones with the likes of Range Rover, Maserati, Audi, Ferrari, and Pagani Zonda.

3. Neymar Jr - Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain F.C


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $192 Million US $45.6 Millon per annum Puma, Gillette, Red Bull, Qatar Airways, EA Sports, MasterCard, DAZN

In fashion, lifestyle, and movies, Neymar's reach of public fame is beyond football. Still, the most expensive transfer in the history of football, Neymar's value of 220 million dollars, shows the picture of what his purse looks like. From the local streets of Santos to Camp Nou and Paris, he has shone on every grass he stepped, and as green the grass has been, so has been the dollar bills.

During his time at Barcelona, He earned around 25 million euros a year after the restructured contract in 2016. Later, he would switch to Paris Saint-Germain FC, agreeing to a salary of 30 million euros per year as the sum could go up to 71 million euros with bonuses and such.

4. Zlatan Ibrahimović - Sweden/AC Milan


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $190 Millon US $11.2 Million per annum Volvo Group, Nike, Visa, Microsoft, Nivea Men

Do you want to score some inhuman goals, scorpions, or even a bicycle from 30 yards out? Ring the great Ibra. Not just some weird goals, Zlatan has been a star for over more than a decade now. With stardom, his earnings and wealth have also been on an upward trajectory. Playing for as many clubs in Europe as Messi's Ballon D'or, he even made his journey to LA as a last-ditch to pocket some dollars and make it into the late-night shows.

Perfect for endorsements and advertisements, if you google Zlatan, the first thing you will see are his legendary interviews which are an essential part of his fame outside the pitch. After his transfer from Ajax to Italy, he started filling the bag, and having a cunning agent like Mino Riola sure helps. From Juventus to Inter Milan, he bonded with José Mourinho, one of the best coaches in the game, and in 2009, he was signed by FC Barcelona, joining Ronaldinho and Messi.

His contract with Blaugrana was worth five years, 66 million euros, but he could not see through the agreement due to loan spells to AC Milan. In 2012, PSG snatched him from Barca for $20 million, penning a contract worth 14 million euros a year. After four years in Paris, he switched to Manchester United following his idol Mourinho and a contract of 19 million pounds per annum. Eventually, he would pack his bags and take a flight to the states joining the LA Galaxy to pocket $54 million in 2 years and get ready for the third stint at AC Milan.

Now at AC, he earns 175,000 pounds per week, which sums up to 9.1 million pounds a year.

5. Gareth Bale - Wales/Real Madrid


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $145 Million US $33.3 Million per annum Adidas, Konami, BT Sports, Duracell, Nissan

'Speed, finishing, strength, and golf' pretty much sums up Bale's career so far. Oh yes, of course, those injuries as well. Time travel five years earlier, the winger was considered one of the top 5 players in football, and nobody would argue his talent and nose for scoring essential goals or, in general, just goals.

Things didn't pan out as expected regarding career trajectory and individual trophies like Ballon D' Or, but he made his bag full whether playing on the football pitch or a golf course. While at Spurs, Bale was on 40,000 pounds a week contract, but his shift to Los Blancos In 2013 made him one of the highest-paid players.

That was the most expensive transfer in football as clubs agreed on the US $111 Million, and Bale was about to earn 200 Euros per week. Later, a contract extension earned him a staggering amount of 600,000 pounds a week. The winger is about to leave the white shirt in 2022, and there are strong suiters from England and his hometown Wales.

6. Paul Pogba - France/Manchester United FC


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $132 Million US $15.8 Million per annum Adidas, TCL, Lays, Pepsico

Paul Pogba has been exceptional on the field for years, but his fame from those shooting boots is immense. A teenage sensation out of Manchester United Academy, Pogba made a breakthrough during his time at Juventus. Compared to Midfield geniuses like Xavi, Yaya Toure, and so on, Pogba did go heights but never managed to stay on top for long.

However, that was never going to infect his purse and bank balance as the face of a major franchise like Pepsi Co and Adidas since his early career was always a plus point. La Pioche earned 4.5 million euros a year during his early career with Juventus before his blockbuster switch to Man United worth 105 Million Euros.

Pogba signed a 5-year contract worth £75,400,000 with the Red Devils. Fast forward to 2022, he has decided to leave the club on contract expiry. Multiple reports suggest the midfielder already has an agreement with Juventus to earn more than 8 million euros per season.

7. Kylian Mbappe - France/Paris Saint-Germain F.C


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $130 Million US $52.4 Million per annum Electronic Arts, Nike, Hublot

Mbappe is right there at the top when it comes to an argument of who the best player in the world is right now, and remember, he is just 23. The breakout star of this decade, Kylian is already a superstar, with the likes of Real Madrid, Liverpool, and Chelsea trying to swoop in to get the teenager.

Unfortunately for the European giants, Kylian is staying put at PSG, signing a 3-year deal worth 150 Million Euros that can go up to 300 Million euros, tax included. This makes the French striker the highest-paid footballer in Europe now, 10 million euros more than his teammate Messi. With three years contract, PSG expects to get the best out of its most valuable asset.

8. Eden Hazard - Belgium/Real Madrid CF


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $125 Million US $23.2 Million per annum Nike, Topps, Electronic Arts, Sina Sports

Once Hazard was the heart and soul of Chelsea with those mesmerizing footwork, dribbles, and goal poaching ability. Arguably the best premier league player during his time at Chelsea is having a hard time stepping into the grass these days. After his 100 Million transfer to Real Madrid, injuries have piled up, and a fair share of the blame goes to his lack of performance when given a chance.

Despite lack of playing time, Eden is still one of the highest-paid players in the Real Madrid squad. During his time at the Blues, he signed a contract worth 10 million pounds per annum, summing up to 52 Million Pounds in 5 years. In 2019, he agreed to join Los Merengues agreeing to a salary of 19 million pounds a year.

9. Andreas Iniesta - Spain/Vissel Kobe


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $122 Million US $30 Million per annum Konami, Nike, DAZN, Sony, Nissan, UFX, Estrella Damm

If you remember that 2011 Barcelona team, you are no nescient to Andres Iniesta's magic in the midfield. The maestro was even-steven when it came to fame and wealth as he was a face for almost every advertisement and major brand during his tenure in Barca.

Iniesta started with 8,000 Euros a month salary and eventually signed a hefty contract worth 165,000 pounds per week. After spending 14 years with Blaugrana, he switched to Japan, joining The Vissel Kobe in 2018. During that time, Japanese e-commerce brand Rakuten signed a deal to sponsor FC Barcelona. Don Iniesta's contract was worth just shy of the US $30 Million per annum.

20. Frank Ribery - France/U.S. Salernitana 1919


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $70 Millon US $3.05 Million per annum Nike (2004 to now)

'Actions speak louder than words,' one of my favorite quotes, is what Ribery was his whole career. Arguably the most underrated player in the game's history, Ribery should have been way above in this list.

Franck, aka 'Scarface' as they call him in Germany, played most of his career for Bayern Munich as an integral part of all their success in the last two decades. He won almost everything: Bundesliga titles, Champions League, DFB Pokal, or any trophy in Germany.

During his early days in Bayern, the winger earned 1.5 Million Euros per year. Eventually, he signed a hefty contract worth $9 Million Euros per annum. In 2019, ACF Florentina signed him on a free transfer with a salary of 2.5 Million Pounds per year. After two years, he decided to transfer to Salernitana with a salary of 1.5 Million Euros. Multiple reports suggest he is thinking of hanging his boots as that speed and resilience are starting to take a toll on him.

Lifetime sponsor of Nike since his professional fame in 2004, he extends his contract yearly.

11. Karim Benzema - France/Real Madrid CF


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $118 Million US $17.5 Million per annum Adidas, EA Sports, Bwin, LCL, Hyundai

Benzema is a fine example of growth with age as the French striker finished the 2021/22 season the top scorer in the Champions League, taking home the trophy. His performances in prior seasons have also caught the eyes of those concerned about football.

Favorite to win the prestigious Ballon d'Or award, he is one of the highest earners in Spain and deserves every penny of it. During his transfer from Lyon to Madrid in 2009, he agreed to a $37.9 Million for six years contract.

In 2022, The Los Blancos number 9 makes a hefty salary of 14.3 Million pounds and could restructure the sum for coming seasons as dependency on The Big Benz is irresistible.

12. Robert Lewandowski - Poland/FC Bayern Munich


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $90 Million US $20.8 Million per annum  Huawei, Procter & Gamble, Nike, Opel, EA Sports

Robert Lewandowski hits the target like a hawk; the lethal striker has been a centerpiece of Bayern Munich's success. Winning a handful of domestic trophies and the Champions League, he is one of the most decorated strikers in the world.

He has been renewing his paper agreements over the years, but the latest contract pays him over 19 Million Pounds annually to 2023. Recently, the Polish star denied renewing the contract with Bavarians, hoping the European powerhouses would snatch him with higher pay and bonuses.

13. Mohammad Salah - Egypt/Liverpool FC


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $88 Million US $12.75 Million per annum Adidas, PepsiCo, EA, Vodafone, ExxonMobil

Mohammad Salah will go down as one of the cheapest transfers in EPL history for Liverpool. After his switch from Roma in 2017, he has been the club's star performer and among the top scorers in the premier league since then.

One of the most charitable players, Salah agreed to 6.2 Million pounds per annum during his first two years for the Reds. The Egyptian King is set to make 400,000 pounds a week in his newest contract as per the sources in Eurosport. 

14. Sergio Ramos - Spain/Paris Saint-Germain FC


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
$88 Million $18.4 Million per annum Budweiser, Nike, AB InBev

Pique's compatriot Sergio Ramos will go down in history as one of the greatest defenders despite his on-field mischiefs. The Defender won everything captaining for Real Madrid and is regarded as a legend of the club with 22 trophies in Spain.

Included in the pedigree of an elite, Ramos made over 11 Million Pounds in salary whilst at Los Blancos. In 2021, He signed with PSG in a free transfer agreeing to a salary of $18.4 Million per annum plus bonuses.

Once labeled 'A Comeback King, ' Ramos's performance on the field may have been down over the years, but his purse is still heavy.

15. Gerard Pique - Spain/FC Barcelona


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $85 Million US $29.45 Million per annum Nike, Rakuten

Gerard Pique is an icon for Barcelona fans and one of today's highest earners in the financially struggling club. Since his transfer from Manchester United in 2008, he has renewed and restructured contracts yearly.

In 2022, he is the biggest earner in the squad with over US 29 dollars per year. Multiple reports suggest he is about to leave the club coming season and set to join a Chinese club or follow in the Iniesta's steps to Japan.

16. Mario Balotelli - Italy/Adana Demirspor


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $80 Million US $20.17 Million per annum Formerly Nike and Puma, Adana Demirspor

Once a golden boy, Balotelli may be the biggest disappointment in football, to name a few others. He should have been in the conversation of elites the way his career was shaping up, but that talent didn't pan out as expected. If fate would f up somebody, that would be the super Mario. Remember that 'Why Always Me' meme? 

Despite all the roadblocks, he sure was able to top up his bag with money and fill his garage with supercars. The constant switching from Italian to English clubs made his salary inconsistent over the years. So, we have listed the salary amount he earned in different clubs.

Inter Milan [2006] - 8,000 Euros a week

Manchester City [2010] - 120,000 Pounds a week

Ac Milan [2012] - 80,000 Pounds a week plus 40,000 in bonuses based on clause

Liverpool [2014] - Half of AC Milan's wages ie. 40,000 Pounds a week

Nice [2016-19] - 450,000 Euros a month

Marseille [2019] - 175,000 Pounds a week

Brescia [2019] - 2.3 Million Pounds per annum

Marseille [2019] - 175,000 Pounds a week

Brescia [2019] - 2.3 Million Pounds per annum

17. David De Gea - Spain/Manchester United FC


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $80 Million US $23.7 Million per annum Adidas, Pepsico, EA SPorts

De Gea often referred to as the 'Wall Of Manchester United,' has been their longtime servant. After his switch to England in 2011 from Atletico Madrid, he started getting the recognition he deserves, and with fame came money, a whole lot of dollars.

The 31-year-old shot-stopper has signed multiple contracts with Red Devils over the years. But the significant one came in 2019 when they signed him to 6 years and 117 Million pounds contract. Fast forward to 2022, he is about to put pen to paper that would keep in the club until 2025. The sum is expected to be around 22 Million pounds a year.

18. Hulk - Brazil/Clube Atlético Mineiro


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
US $77 Million US $1.5 Million per annum Mizuno, Pixgold

Hulk, not that green one but a footballer with power and pace, made a business decision that pretty much changed the course of the earnings for star players in Europe. Alongside Brazillian Oscar, he switched to the Chinese Football League that would bury you with money.

In 2016, Hulk joined Shanghai SIPG, agreeing to a salary of 20.1 Million dollars. After spending four years in a Chinese club, he returned home to Atlético Mineiro, but the bag was full this time. As a result, he agreed to just a $1.5 millon euros salary in his hometown.

19. Luka Modric - Croatia/Real Madrid CF


Net Worth 2022 Salary 2022 Sponsors
Us $75 Million US $17.5 Million per annum Sofa Score

Luka Modric Has been aging like a fine wine, and so has his contracts and wealth situation. Switch from Premier League to Laliga was never easy, but he sure was about to bag himself big pennies. 

Lukita was playing with a salary of 46,000 pounds in spurs as Daniel Levy offered to raise the sum to 90,000 pounds. However, he had already decided to join Liga giants Real Madrid. He signed with them in 2012 for a fee of $30 Million, signing a hefty contract of 3.7 Million pounds per annum. Since then, he has been renewing his contracts as years go by. Additionally, Modric also secured Sofascore sponsorship as an ambassador in 2022.

The midfield magician won 20 trophies during his ten-year tenure at Los Blancos, including five champions league, Laligas, Copa Del Reys, and individual trophies in Ballon Dór.