Barcelona icon, Lionel Messi and Juventus superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo are not only widely considered to be the two greatest players in the history of the sport, but are also among the top three earners in terms of salary in the sport.
As per Vanquis and their Ultimate Sports Rich List, of all the players past and present it is Messi who earns the most with the striker netting a staggering sum of just over £68.3million per year, which is
£16m more than his nearest competitor and former Barcelona team-mate, Neymar.
Ronaldo comes in third with earns of £51.9m, with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann all following him in terms of earnings.
There is no doubt that the superstars of today earn significantly higher than stars of the past with Real Madrid legend, Zinedine Zidane being paid £3.7m in 2001 – the equivalent of £5.6m today, which works out at just under £110,000-per-week.
When one goes back even further than the difference is staggering considering that Diego Maradona was paid only £2.2m in 1990, when he was without doubt the best player in the world while before him Brazil legend, Pele was getting only around 700,000 during his time at New York Cosmos.
Football stars current earnings
Lionel Messi – £68,309,724
Neymar – £52,346,039
Cristiano Ronaldo – £51,974,790
Kylian Mbappe – £20,789,916
Paul Pogba – £20,789,916
Antoine Griezmann – £20,789,916
Mohamed Salah – £17,819,928
David de Gea – £17,819,928
Robert Lewandowski – £17,819,928
Gareth Bale – £17,077,431
Harry Kane – £10,361,786
Past Legends earnings (based on inflation)
Zinedine Zidane – £3,771,885 (2001) / £5,656,168
Diego Maradona – £2,227,491 (1990)/ £4,435,025
Pele – £692,997 (1975) / £3,352,007