Top highest paid footballers in the world in 2020
With the world of advertisement and sponsorship colliding with the world of football, billions of dollars have since flowed into the beautiful game, making it more popular, with even some of the clubs competing to pay the highest amount of money for a player, while some footballers might compete to become the world’s most expensive player, just like Gareth Bale when he moved to Real Madrid, or Neymar when he moved to the Parisian side Paris Saint-Germain.
Top 10 highest paid football players in 2020
Here is our top ten list of highest paid footballers in 2020.
10. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona) - $26.7M
- Salary: $21.2M
- Endorsements: $5.5M
The French international started his prolific career at Real Sociedad in 2009, during which he had a total of 201 appearances and scored a total of 52 goals. These stats were quite fine for a young talent such as him, which is what made Atletico go through the deal to buy him from Real Sociedad.
The young striker then joined Atletico Madrid in 2014 for €30 million. This might not have made him one of the most paid soccer players in the world, it certainly helped him make a name for himself at his new club as he scored 133 goals across all competition during his five-year spell at the Madrid side.
With his deadly strikes and after winning the 2018 World Cup, Griezmann completed his dream move to Barcelona in the 2019-2020 season, during which he scored 12 goals and had 4 assists to his name. This season might not have been his or his club’s most successful one, but it certainly made a difference as he became one of the highest paid footballers in 2020.
9. Oscar (Shanghai SIPG) – $27.5 M
- Salary: $25.8M
- Endorsements: $1.7M
The Brazilian footballer started his career at the Brazilian side São Paulo. But he joined their rivals Internacional in 2009 due to problems in his contract with São Paulo, which even took him to court. The young Oscar was even dubbed to be the next KAKA, which is why Chelsea had their eyes on him and had to spend around $10M to bring him to London.
After about five years with Chelsea and winning two Premier League titles, Oscar decided to take easy way out and join the Chinese side Shanghai SIPG for a fee of £60 million, which broke the record for the highest amount of money paid for a player in the Chinese Super League. This subsequently made Oscar one of the highest paid football players in the world in 2020, even three years after his move to China.
8. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) – $28.5M
- Salary: $23M
- Endorsements: $5.5M
Next on our list of highest paid soccer players in the world in 2020 is Paul Pogba. The French international and the 2013 Golden Boy award winner has certainly had everyone’s eyes on him for years, be it because of his stylish haircuts or his mouth-watering technique on the pitch. Pogba began his journey at the Ligue 1 side Le Havre in 2007 before joining the Red Devils. He was a Manchester United player for two seasons, but limited play time forced him to join the Italian side Juventus on a free transfer in 2012.
Playing for the Old Lady, Pogba finally realized his true potential, which caught the attention of the world’s biggest clubs such as Real Madrid. This made the board at the Manchester side realize one of their biggest mistakes, which was letting Pogba go. His performance in Italy saw him return to the Premier League for a then world record fee of €105M, which made him one of the highest paid football players in the world.
The French footballer only went bigger after his transfer, which saw him and his National team place second at UEFA Euro 2016, and later win the 2018 World Cup. What is interesting is that Pogba actually earns less salary than Oscar, but the endorsements are much more lucrative than the latter’s.
7. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) – $28.7M
- Salary: $23.2M
- Endorsements: $5.5M
Number seven on our list of highest paid football players in 2020 is Mesut Özil. The German midfielder began his illustrious career at the Bundesliga side Schalke 04, but it was during his spell at Werder Bremen that he finally got to show what he had to offer. Following the 2009-10 season, during which he achieved a record high of 25 assists across all competitions, he moved to La Liga giants Real Madrid for a fee of €15M.
He enjoyed a successful couple of seasons at one of the world’s biggest clubs, after which he joined the Premier League side Arsenal for a record high fee of €50M, which saw him become the most expensive German player of all time. The 31-year-old footballer has got quite a trophy cabinet, with the 2014 World Cup winners’ medal and cup shining bright on the best spot.
You Might Also Like: Best premier league goalkeepers ever
6. Andres Iniesta (Vissel Kobe) – $29.6M
- Salary: $26.6M
- Endorsements: $3M
We can safely say that Barcelona and Spain legend Andres Iniesta has had quite an illustrious career for years, which is why even after leaving his childhood club after so many years, trophies and memories and moving to the far east, he is still one of the highest paid footballers in 2020.
Iniesta’s trophy cabinet has always gotten bigger every year, which holds a total of 35 trophies, including 9 La Liga and 4 Champions League titles, including two historic trebles in 2009 and 2015. This has made the blaugrana legend the most decorated Spanish footballer of all time, which is why the Japanese side Vissel Kobe are paying him a hefty salary to keep him at their club, placing him 6th on our list of highest paid football players in the world in 2020.
5. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) – $33.8M
- Salary: $20.8M
- Endorsements: $13M
As we near the end of the list of most paid football players in 2020, we can already guess who the next names on this list are. The fifth highest paid soccer player in the world in 2020 is no one other than Kylian Mbappe. No one can deny the potential this French wonderkid has got. While still at the age of 21, Mbappe has won it all, with four Ligue 1 and two Coupe de France titles, and of course the 2018 World Cup as the Cherry on top. The one thing that he hasn’t won yet is the Champions League, which he couldn’t get his hands on after yesterday’s 1-0 loss against the German side Bayern Munich.
Even without a UCL trophy, one thing is for sure that Kylian Mbappe is a world-class player, and he’s still got a lot more potential to realize and a long road ahead of himself. This could only mean that although he is currently one of the highest paid footballers in 2020, he might one day become The highest paid football player in the world as he becomes one of the best on the pitch.
You Might Also Like: Facts about Kylian Mbappe, the future of football
4. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – $35.1M
- Salary: $23.1M
- Endorsements: $12M
Next on our list of world’s highest paid footballers in 2020 is The Pharaoh. Some might call him ‘The Egyptian Messi’, but we simply know him as Mohamed (Mo) Salah who plays for the Premier League side Liverpool, with whom he won the first Premier League trophy after a shockingly long gap of 30 years in the club’s history.
Fans love him, the club admires him, and the media cannot get enough of him. Although he is one of the nicest players in the game, none of the affection and the attention he’s gained would have been possible without his stellar performances week in week out, which is why he is one of the highest paid footballers in 2020.
3. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) – $95.5M
- Salary: $70.5M
- Endorsements: $25M
Our third highest paid footballer in 2020 is Neymar, the crown jewel of Nasser al-Khelaifi’s project at Paris Saint-Germain. The Brazilian has always been phenomenal, with his eye catching show-boating or his beautiful strikes in front of the goal.
Neymar made his professional debut at the age of 17 for the Brazilian side Santos F.C., helping them to several titles including two successive Campeonato Paulista championships, a Copa do Brasil, and the 2011 Copa Libertadores, which saw him win the South American Footballer of the Year award in 2012 and 2013.
His achievements in Brazil caught the eyes of the biggest clubs in the world including Real Madrid and Barcelona. Thus began a transfer race between the Spanish giants to sign the then 21-year-old wonderkid, which saw Barcelona become victorious and bring Neymar to Catalonia and create the MSN trio, one of the deadliest trios in the history of football to compete with Madrid’s BBC trio.
Neymar was considered to be the crown prince of Barcelona, destined to succeed the all-time great Lionel Messi, but things didn’t work out for him as well as he thought. He won everything he could at Barcelona, even coming third in the Ballon d’Or race, but that wasn’t enough for Neymar not to feel overshadowed by Messi’s presence. Although it is all speculation, it might just be true that he felt this way towards Messi and his team.
That is why the Brazilian joined the Ligue 1 side PSG for a staggering amount of €222M, which saw him become the world’s most expensive player ever. Such a title would always mean more fame and money of course, which is exactly what happened to Neymar, as he now earns an exorbitant amount of $95.5M annually, with more than $70M of it coming from his salary. This amount might be high, but he is still placed third on our list of highest paid footballers in 2020.
2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – $104M
- Salary: $72M
- Endorsements: $32M
The runner-up on our list of highest paid footballers in 2020 is no one other that one of the all-time greats, Lionel Messi, who is considered by many to be The GOAT. In fact, Messi used to be The highest paid footballer in 2020 a couple of months ago. But he climbed down to the second spot after the Catalan side confirmed the wage cuts due to COVID-19.
The Argentine footballer has almost always been a Barcelona player. He signed his first senior-team contract on 24 June 2005. The rest is history. He is used to breaking new records week in week out, as he has won has won a record six Ballon d'Or awards and six European Golden Shoes.
He also holds the records for most goals in La Liga (444), a La Liga and European league season (50), most hat-tricks in La Liga (36) and the UEFA Champions League (8), and most assists in La Liga (183), a La Liga and European league season (21) and the Copa América (12), which are only some of the reasons that he should be The highest paid footballer in 2020.
Looking at Messi’s trophy cabinet with 33 trophies including 10 La Liga titles, 4 UEFA Champions League titles and 6 Copas del Rey, you might think that he has won it all. But the one thing missing from such a prolific and legendary player’s trophy cabinet, is the World Cup, which he was closest to get his hands on in the 2014 World Cup, during which Argentina lost to Germany after Mario Götze’s injury time goal.
After Barcelona’s golden age with the MSN trio in the front lines, Messi and his team have been suffering from a dry spell trophy-wise, many believing this to be the end of an era. The Catalan side’s 8-2 humiliation against Bayern Munich made the matter even worse, which has sparked speculations about Messi’s departure as the Argentine might want to move to another club for new challenges. There are rumors about him joining the Italian side, Inter, which could bring the old Ronaldo vs Messi games back on the table.
You Might Also Like: La Liga History, from early days to the legendary Messi vs. Ronaldo
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) – $105M
- Salary: $60M
- Endorsements: $45M
No one could be surprised to see Cristiano Ronaldo at top of the list of highest paid footballers in 2020. Just like his Argentine counterpart, the Portuguese striker is considered to be The GOAT by millions of people due to his prolific and record breaking career. Even at the age of 35, at which many football legends might have already retired or would be playing for American or Asian clubs, Cristiano Ronaldo shows the world that he’s still got it, scoring 52 league goals in 64 appearances.
Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid back in 2009 for a then world-record fee of €94M, which saw him become the most expensive player in the world. Ronaldo, alongside the likes of Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Marcelo brought a golden age for the Madrid side, winning a total of four UCL trophies, three of which they won consecutively under the management of Zinedine Zidane.
Cristiano has been playing for the Italian side Juventus for two seasons after his shocking move away from Real Madrid back in 2018, which broke the hearts of the fans and the players, especially Marcelo, with whom he had a unique friendship. However, whether he plays for Juventus, Real Madrid or any other team, Ronaldo is and will be one of the highest paid footballers in the world until the end of his career.
Although his salary is not as hefty as Lionel Messi’s $72M salary, his $45M yearly income from endorsements has more than made up for his lower salary, which has helped him gain the top spot on our list of highest paid footballers in 2020. That ends our list of highest paid footballers in the world in 2020, but the list will keep updating as new prestigious contracts are being signed every day by the wonderkids of the new era.