The new season of the Uefa Champions League resumed on 16 February and as usual the players’ salaries are a hot topic.
Here are the top 12 highest-paid players of the season, according to Soccer Laduma.
SALARIES BONANZA: LIONEL MESSI, FC BARCELONA
Lionel Messi ranks as the highest-paid player this season, bringing home the most enviable of salaries: €46m after tax and excluding bonuses. This equates to almost R810m.
Earlier in 2020, Barcelona said it would take legal action against Spanish newspaper El Mundo after it published details of Messi’s current contract, reportedly worth up to €555m (R9.7bn) over four years.
SECOND IN SALARIES STAKES: NEYMAR, PARIS SAINT GERMAIN
The Brazillian footballer, who is currently sidelined due to a devastating injury, ranks in second place when it comes to salaries as he is believed to take home an annual pay packet of €36m (R633.7m).
THIRD IN SALARIES STAKES: CRISTIANO RONALDO, JUVENTUS
The famous Portuguese footballer, who is also the captain of the Portuguese national team, pockets an annual income of €31m (R545.6m) at Juventus.
Ronaldo recently branched out his business ventures to Africa by opening a R1.7bn hotel in Marrakesh, Morocco.
EDEN HAZARD, REAL MADRID
The Belgian footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid is also the captain of the Belgium national team. He earns an annual income of €23m, which is more than R404m.
KYLIAN MBAPPE, PARIS SAINT GERMAIN
The French footballer is considered to be one of the best players in the world and takes home salaries totalling €22.9m annually, which works out to more than R403m.
Mbappe ripped Lionel Messi’s Barcelona apart with a stunning hat-trick on Tuesday.
DAVID DE GEA, MANCHESTER UNITED
The Spanish footballer who plays for English club Manchester United and the Spanish national team earns an annual salary of €22.4m (R393.9m).
KEVIN DE BRUYNE, MANCHESTER CITY
The Belgian footballer who plays for Manchester City and the Belgium national team takes home €20.9m annually, which adds up to R367.5m.
JAN OBLAK, ATLETICO MADRID
The Slovenian footballer is considered to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world. He makes an annual income of €20m, equating to R351.7m — still one of the most impressive of current footballers’ salaries.
ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI, BAYERN MUNICH
The Polish footballer who plays as a striker for Bayern Munich is also the captain of Poland’s national team. Like Jan Oblak, he takes home an annual income of €20m.
KAI HAVERTZ, CHELSEA
The German footballer who plays for Chelsea and the German national team makes a cool €18.5m annually, adding up to more than R325m.
RAHEEM STERLING, MANCHESTER CITY
The English footballer takes home a salaries payout of €17.9m, which converts to more than R314m a year.
FRENKIE DE JONG, FC BARCELONA
The Dutch footballer earns €17.5m annually, adding up to more than R307.6m.