The 13 richest footballers in the world

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Neymar may be the most expensive player in world football, but he is not (yet) the richest.
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Aurelien Meunier / Getty Images

With the 2o17/18 football season underway, it’s fair to say that money has dominated the summer headlines.

Premier League clubs have collectively spent over a billion pounds on signings already, while Paris Saint-Germain broke the world transfer record when it spent €222 million (£200 million) on Neymar.

Clubs are boosted by record TV revenues. This helps them pay players huge wages. Footballers are also free to pursue off-the-pitch sponsorship deals.

Following on from our list of 15 richest football club owners in England, Business Insider has ranked the 13 richest footballers in the world using net worth data from the Sunday Times rich list, Forbes, football website Goal.com, and financial services site Gobankingrates.com.

Here they are in ascending order.


13: Luis Suárez, FC Barcelona — net worth £31 million ($40 million).

Forbes claims Luis Suárez makes £13.4 million ($17.3 million) at Barcelona, while sponsorship deals with Adidas and Pepsi also bolster his firepower.

Source: Forbes and Gobankingrates.com.


12: Cesc Fàbregas, Chelsea — net worth £35 million ($45 million).

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Cesc Fàbregas.
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Clive Mason / Getty Images

Chelsea pays Cesc Fàbregas £8.1 million ($10.4 million) a year, but he is also benefits from a Puma football boot deal.

Source: The Sunday Times rich list.


11: David Silva, Manchester City — net worth £36 million ($46 million).

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David Silva.
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Alex Livesey / Getty Images

Manchester City pays David Silva £10.4 million ($13.3 million) per year but the Spaniard tops up his income with an Adidas boot deal worth £5 million ($6.4 million).

Source: The Sunday Times rich list.


10: John Terry, Aston Villa — net worth £39 million ($50 million).

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John Terry.
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Mark Robinson / Getty Images

Veteran defender John Terry left Chelsea this year as the club’s most successful player of all time. However, his football career is far from over as he joined Aston Villa in July on a £4 million ($5 million) per year deal.

Source: The Sunday Times rich list.


9: Sergio Agüero, Manchester City — net worth £40 million ($51 million).

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Sergio Agüero.
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Alex Livesey / Getty Images

Sergio Agüero is paid £10.4 million ($13.3 million) a year by Manchester City but earns even more – £14 million ($18 million) – from his sponsors, Puma and Pepsi.

Source: The Sunday Times rich list.


8: Yaya Touré, Manchester City — net worth £43 million ($55 million).

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Yaya Touré.
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Alex Livesey / Getty Images

Yaya Touré defied media speculation linking him with a transfer to AC Milan and Inter Milan by signing a one-year contract extension at Manchester City. He was previously earning £10.4 million ($13.3 million) a year but might have had to accept a 50% pay-cut just to stay at the Etihad Stadium.

Source: The Sunday Times rich list.


7: Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain — net worth £49 million ($63 million).

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Neymar.
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Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Neymar secured the biggest football transfer of all time when he left FC Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain this month.

The deal netted him a £26 million per year contract but the Brazilian also receives a salary from his sponsors Nike, Panasonic, Gilette, Claro, and Red Bull. He’s a partner in business management company NN Consultoria and even has his own emojis available for download.

Source: Goal.com.


6: Gareth Bale, Real Madrid — net worth £56 million ($72 million).

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Gareth Bale.
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Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty Images

Real Madrid pays Gareth Bale £18.2 million ($23.4 million) a year. The Welsh wizard is contractually-tied to the La Liga giants until 2022. His sponsorship agreements with Adidas, Electronic Arts, Sony, and Footlocker are worth £9 million ($11.5 million) a year.

Source: The Sunday Times rich list.


5: Eden Hazard, Chelsea FC — net worth £77 million ($100 million).

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Eden Hazard.
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Mike Hewitt / Getty Images

Forbes reports that Eden Hazard earns £12.4 million ($16 million) per year at Chelsea. The Belgian attacking midfielder is sponsored by Nike but also endorses trading card company Topps and Biscoff biscuit manufacturers Lotus Bakeries.

Source: Forbes and Gobankingrates.com.


4: Wayne Rooney, Everton — net worth £93 million ($120 million).

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Wayne Rooney.
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Lee Smith/Reuters

Wayne Rooney left Manchester United as the club’s leading goalscorer of all time. He took a 50% pay cut to join Everton, which reportedly pays him £7.8 million per year.

Source: The Sunday Times rich list.


3: Zlatan Ibrahimovi?, free agent — net worth £110 million ($141 million).

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Zlatan Ibrahimovi?.
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Michael Steele / Getty Images

Zlatan Ibrahimovi?’s one year contract at Manchester United expired in the summer. However, he still trains at the club’s Carrington headquarters and is expected to re-sign with United when he returns from injury. Regardless, he has a lucrative Nike contract and even patented his own name in Sweden.

Source: The Sunday Times rich list.


2: Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona — net worth £230 million ($295 million).

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Lionel Messi.
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Dan Istitene / Getty Images

Goal.com says Lionel Messi earns half a million every week (£26 million a year / $33.4 million) from his lastest contract renewal with Barcelona. The Argentine forward also makes £21 million ($27 million) a year from sponsorship agreements with Adidas, Pepsi, Gillette, and Turkish Airlines.

Source: Forbes and Goal.com.


1: Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid — net worth £250 million ($321.5 million).

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Cristiano Ronaldo.
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Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo is paid £19 million ($24.4 million) a year, according to Goal.com. Though Ronaldo gets paid £5 million less than Messi, he has far more sponsors. According to Forbes, Ronaldo is “a human billboard for a global portfolio of sponsors” like Nike, Tag Heuer, and Armani. He also has his own CR7 brand which sells aftershave and clothes.

Source: Forbes and Goal.com.