Now you are likely here because you want an inside look at how much do professional footballers make.
Well, let me say straight away that it is no secret that playing football can convert into a nice paycheck.
With the most well-known footballers, a lot of them are pulling in millions through their craft.
However, how much are we talking here, and are all professional footballers earning bucket loads of money, or is it all rumors.
In this post, I am going to answer the questions you have on this subject.
Table of Contents
From Shillings To Pounds
If we were to go back to years ago, all the way to the early 1900’s most footballers played for free.
However, as the game grew, so did the amount of money invested in the game.
Slowly people went from making a few shillings to a few pence, pounds, and finally many pounds.
This question of why people would pay others to kick a ball is a great question and something I wondered a few years back.
To answer it, let me bring to your attention some of the latest events in football.
Football is a worldwide game played and watched by many, but did you know that the last world cup brought in 191 million viewers a game.
The final alone brought in just over 1 billion viewers, with 120,000,000 tuned into the event.
These stats show you where the game is now and how much interest is in the sport today.
And where there is an audience, there is also money.
This makes Football a business and one that is growing rapidly.
Why Do Professional Footballers Get Paid?
Now while footballers get paid in various ways, the most obvious way is through their club.
It is through the club that they get an annual wage, just like anyone else who is in full-time work.
But why clubs pay players is because it’s a competition for the best.
Each club wants to attract the best players in order to get more people watching them, which equates to more revenue.
For these football teams to keep a player as an asset, they need to give them a contract.
This keeps a player at a club for an x amount of years. While also giving the player a guaranteed sum of money that is paid to them over that time.
Now since the game is growing all the time, the amount players are getting paid is rising more and more.
This is because there is increasingly more money in the game.
How Much Do Professional Footballers Get Paid?
Every professional footballer in the modern game gets paid, but how much they get depends on so many factors.
Just to name a few:
1. Premier League
The UK’s Premier League is one of the most-watched leagues, and for millions of kids, the dream is to make it to this league.
It is one of the richest in the world, and because of that, wages are quite high even if you aren’t at the top of the league.
The average wage in the league was found to be just over £60,000 a week.
That equates to £240,000 every month, figures which surpass most of the highest paying jobs out there.
In the Bundesliga, there is a disparity between the teams at the top and the lesson known teams that have newly promoted.
For Bayern Munich, the reigning champions league winners, the team’s average annual salary is 8.12 million dollars a year.
This means the average weekly wage is in the region of $156,000.
Whereas at the other end, Paderborn, who is one of the teams to be promoted from the second division, only has an average annual salary of $420,000 a year.
Compared to Bayern, the average weekly wage sits around $8000 a week.
3. La Liga
La Liga is another league that has a lot of money invested in it.
For those playing in the Spanish league, I found that the average for players that were 23 or above was at least 1.15 million pounds.
The team with the highest average salary was Barcelona, with 12.28 million dollars shared between the squad within the 2019 to 2020 season.
4. Ligue 1
Ligue 1, which is the biggest football league in France, isn’t up there with the amounts of the countries above.
Part of that is because the leagues we have mentioned are more watched and competitive.
Looking at each club’s different salaries, one club comes in on top by a clear mile, and that is PSG.
An average of 8.79 million dollars which is nearly 6 million dollars more than As Monaco in second, would explain why the Parisians tend to dominate the league.
What was interesting to find was that 15 of the 20 teams have an overall salary of less than 1 million. Metz has the lowest of $300,000.
To put this in perspective, last season, only Norwich and Sheffield United in the premier league had budgets of under 1 million.
This shows that while playing professionally will allow you to live financially free, being in one of the top leagues is seemingly allowing you to earn enough to retire.
Who Are The Highest Earners In Football?
Some clubs worldwide have a huge following and a big salary cap, but who are the biggest earners in the game today.
Now, if you are a football follower, you may have a good idea of who will be on this list.
10. David De Gea – Manchester United
To start this list, we begin with a keeper who a few years ago was regarded as the best in the world in his position.
But after a few years of below-par performances and at times absolute howlers, the keeper’s reputation has simmered down, with keepers like Neuer and Oblak now ahead of him.
With that said, De Gea still has the ability to make saves that are out of this world.
Because of that, Manchester United has given him a huge contract and still has him as the #1.
The keeper is currently bringing in $27 million a year.
9. Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich
A deserving place in the top 10 sees Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski enter at eight. A prolific striker who has hit arguably the best form of his career since reaching 30.
Now not many forwards, regardless of how good they are, finish the season with more goals to their games.
However, last season the striker managed to net 34 in just 31 games in the extended 2019-2020 Bundesliga season.
Going of performances, helping his team to reach the champions league final and defeat PSG, plus his outstanding goals record, warrants him a place on the list of most paid players in the world.
The Polish forward currently brings in $28 million a year.
8. Gareth Bale – Tottenham (On loan from Real Madrid)
Again like De Gea, Gareth Bale was a player who years ago showed so much class. However, nowadays, thanks to several injuries, the Welshman has found it hard to perform consistently like he used to.
Gareth Bale now plays his football back at Tottenham, where he made his name, having gone there on loan to revive his career.
Despite a lack of gameplay over previous years, and with him being more in the news for his love of golf rather than football, he still brings in $29 million.
7. Antoinne Griezman – Barcelona
Continuing with the theme of players who are making a lot of dough but struggling to find their form is Antoinne Griezman.
Griezman is a player I have loved watching over the years. His clinical finishing and his movement are second to none.
He was a player who, under Simeone, shined, however after making the swap to La Liga giants Barcelona, he has found it hard.
Has he failed to break double figures in goals in the league for the first time since his time at Real Sociedad in 2012.
Being high on the list with $33 million of earnings per year, it’s hard to feel sorry for him too much.
6. Paul Pogba – Manchester United
A player who has been around for what seems like years and is the national teammate to Antoine is Paul Pogba.
Now Pogba is one of the most talked-about footballers globally, however not always for the right reasons.
Whether that be because of the neverending agent news of moves away from Manchester or the lackluster displays for the red devils.
Despite this, Pogba isn’t on this list for no reason, because on his day he can be unstoppable. Pogba currently gets $34 million a year.
This combines his work with Adidas, wage, and other sponsorships.
5. Mohammed Salah – Liverpool
A player who has a quality left foot and possesses great ability on the ball is Mohammed Salah.
Salah is a player who will always go down in history for Liverpool, having helped them secure their first-ever premier league trophy and the champions league in Madrid two years ago.
His quality makes him one of the most sought-after players right now, and because of that, he is raking in a nice $37 million a year.
4. Kylian Mbappe – PSG
Kylian Mbappe is not only a well-known name within the football sphere, but he is one for the future at just a young age of 22.
Despite his age, he is a player who has achieved so much, from multiple domestic titles to, of course, the World Cup in Russia back in 2018.
His talent and his potential to become even better, which is scary to imagine since he is so good now, means he is currently on a good living right now.
Overall he brought in $42 million last year, not too shabby for someone who made his mark on the game less than 5 years ago.
3. Neymar – PSG
The third highest player is the other big name to play for PSG, his name being none other than Neymar.
A player who role to prominence in Santos back in his home country of Brazil is now one of football’s household names.
His involvement in the famous trio MSN (Messi, Suarez, and Neymar) which while was overshadowed by the other two, earned him a blockbuster transfer to PSG for 222 million euros.
This transaction between Barcelona and PSG made him the most expensive player of all time.
Now, playing-wise, this top 10 are fantastic footballers; however, the top three are on a different level in terms of money.
His current earnings see him making just under $100 mil, with $90 million in total revenue for last year.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo – Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo has proven himself to be up there as one of the greats in football.
Despite being at the age of 36, where most players are looking to retire, Cristiano shows no signs of slowing down with 16 goals in 18 games so far in Serie A.
Now Cristiano Ronaldo has been given some huge contracts over the years, and last year he reportedly earned 117 million dollars.
Even though he is second on the list, he is the highest-paid earner with endorsements.
On social media, he has a big presence, and on Instagram alone, he has the most followers with 264 million.
1. Lionel Messi – Barcelona FC
Lionel Messi is arguably one of the best players to ever grace a football pitch. He has an incredible 460 goals in 506 appearances for the only club he has ever played for in his life.
His loyalty to the club and, of course, his incredible talent has seen him rewarded with big contracts over the years.
In 2020 he reportedly earned $126 million making him the most paid footballer in the world.
Most of that is from salary, but because of his involvement in the Adidas brand, Pepsi, Lays, and more he made a lot of that figure from endorsements.
How Frequently Do They Get Paid?
A standard full-time job would likely involve you working for a whole month and then getting paid at the end of that month.
Not only do footballers have the luxury of making millions a year and, in some cases, a month with the players I just spoke about, but they get paid every week.
Footballers are paid a weekly wage into their accounts.
Whenever you hear of someone getting a new contract, you will likely hear rumours of weekly wages mentioned too.
Are Footballers Taxed?
No matter what you do, unless you win a lucky Acca or win the lottery that results in you winning millions, you will need to pay tax.
While some try to find loopholes, footballers aren’t excluded from paying tax.
What comes with earning so much money, is that these players will have a big price to pay with tax.
It is said that players in the English Premier League have to pay on average £1 million a year in tax.
But with most premier league players if not already are they are multi-millionaires are likely on track, it’s just a small price to pay.
It’s clear to see that becoming a professional footballer can not only allow you 20 or fewer great years of playing but can also set you up for a comfortable life.
Now while it sounds great, the competition for making it to the big stage is increasing rapidly all the time.
To get to a stage where you are getting paid millions a year you need to have a mixture of talent, work ethic, and luck.
While you wouldn’t get as much as those playing in the top leagues, it is easier to get to the lower divisions. It’s at these levels that it’s possible to make enough to get by.
However, I would only recommend pursuing football because you love the game, not because of the money and fame that comes with it.
I hope this guide on how much do professional football players make answered the questions you have. If you have any other questions feel free to let me know!