Being a professional football player is a dream job for millions around the world. Playing the sport full-time, supporting your favorite team in front of thousands of fans, and of course, the potential to make more money than one could ever dream of is something that many professional football players can benefit from.
The select few who can make it to the top of their game, are rewarded with contracts and sponsorships worth well over a million euros.
This list will go over how much the highest-earning football players are making.
The highest-paid Football Players
#10 – Harry Kane (Bayern Munich) – €33.2M / $36M
After playing in the Premier League for almost 15 years, Harry Kane left for Germany last summer with his transfer from Tottenham to Bayern Munich.
Kane has made 249 goals out of his 391 career appearances, and he does not show any signs of slowing down anytime soon. The star striker makes roughly €33m a year, landing him in the 10th spot on this list.
#9 – Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – €35.9M / $39M
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne takes ninth spot on this list. The Belgian international has been instrumental to City’s success since joining the team in 2015.
Five of the last seven Premier League titles have gone to City, with De Bruyne playing a big role in that result. His success has resulted in his nearly €36m annual income.
#8 – Sadio Mané (Al Nassr) – €47.9M / $52M
A somewhat disappointing 2022/23 season for Sadio Mané saw him transferring from Bayern Munich to Al Nassr. He spent only one year at the German club.
Thanks to the massive amounts of money that the Saudi League has been willing to spend on gathering talent in recent years, Mané’s income comes in at around €48M a year.
#7 – Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – €48.8M / $53M
Mohamed Salah is currently one of the best forwards in the world. He has been making waves after joining Liverpool in 2017, a transfer that many Chelsea fans are wishing never happened.
Salah has made 208 goals in his 416 apps and is continuing to dominate the field. As a result of his €48.8m earnings per year, he is seventh on the list.
#6 – Erling Haaland (Manchester City) – €53.5M / $58M
Manchester City purchased Haaland in 2022 for €60m, a fee that has more than paid for itself in the time since. The Norwegian striker scored 25 goals in his first 19 Premier League appearances. His father had also played for City before him in the early 2000s.
In the past couple of years, Haaland has regularly been considered a contender for the best striker in the world.
#5 – Karim Benzema (Al-Ittihad) – €97.7M / $106M
In 2023, Karim Benzema left Real Madrid for Al-Ittihad, ending one of the most successful runs of any player for the Spanish club. While with Real, he won the Ballon d’Or in 2022.
Now at 36 years old and getting closer to retirement age, Benzema has made the move to play with Al-Ittihad in 2023, securing €97m a year in the process.
#4 – Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain) – €101.4M / $110M
The captain of the French national team has quickly made a name for himself, with many spectators calling him one of the best players of all time. Even though he’s only 25 years old, he is often compared to the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, and Maradona.
He turned down a record-breaking €715M deal to play for one year with Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia. Perhaps it is because he’s already making over €101m a year.
#3 – Neymar (Al-Hilal) – €103.3M / $112M
While Mbappé decided to stay in Europe, the same cannot be said about Neymar, who left PSG for Al-Hilal in August of 2023 for a two-year deal.
PSG was unable to win a Champions League title in the six years Neymar played for them. They did however secure second place in 2020.
#2 – Lionel Messi (Inter Miami) – €124.5M / $135M
Lionel Messi famously turned down a €1.5 billion deal to play for Saudi Arabia-based club Al-Hilal for three years. Instead, the Argentinian went to Inter Miami on a free transfer after his PSG contract expired.
Despite turning down such a massive deal, he still makes number 2 on this list, with €124.5m a year.
#1 – Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr) – €239.8M / $260M
The top spot goes to none other than Cristiano Ronaldo at nearly €240m a year.
Part of such a large income comes from the fact that, unlike Messi, he agreed to play in Saudi Arabia for €185m a year with Al Nassr for two-and-a-half years. While he received a fair bit of criticism for accepting the deal, he mentioned that he is happy with the decision.