Lionel Messi is the highest-paid soccer player in the world and it’s not even close

Thu, Mar 26, 2015, 9:44AM EDT
Business Insider
By Cork Gaines

Lionel MessiLionel_Messi_is_the_highest-paid-cbd6218f334da7e2eb7181bec132ec45
(Alex Caparros/Getty Images)Lionel Messi made $71 million (€65 million) in total earnings in 2014, making him the highest-paid soccer player in the world according to a France Football report (via

Messi’s total earnings include $31 million (€28 million) in endorsements, including deals with Turkish Airlines and EA Sports, and $39 million (€36 million) in salary with FC Barcelona in Spain’s La Liga. The salary makes Messi the highest-paid athlete in team sports based on salary alone.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi’s rival with Real Madrid, is the second-highest-paid soccer player with total earnings of $59 million (€54 million).

Here is the top ten:

Lional Messi, FC Barcelona (Spain) — $71 million (€65 million)
Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid (Spain) — $59 million (€54 million)
Neymar Jr, FC Barcelona (Spain) — $40.0 million (€36.5 million)
Thiago Silva, Paris Saint-Germain (France) — $30.1 million (€27.5 million)
Robin Van Persie, Manchester United (England) — $28.1 million (€25.6 million)
Gareth Bale, Real Madrid (Spain) — $26.1 million (€23.8 million)
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United (England) — $24.7 million (€22.5 million)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paris Saint-Germain (France) — $23.6 million (€21.5 million)
Sergio Agüero, Manchester City (England) — $23.3 million (€21.2 million)
Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich (Germany) — $22.2 million (€20.2 million)

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