Ranking the world’s highest-paid footballers: Who are they?

Al-Hilal’s record £259m offer reportedly includes a salary of an incredible £604m over the course of a year, equating to a mind-blowing £11.2m weekly wage.

But how do these astronomical numbers compare with what some of the other biggest stars in world football earn a year?

Cristiano Ronaldo (Al-Nassr) – £173m

Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to ditch European football for the mega-money of the Middle East was the kickstart for many other players to consider the same path.

The lure of the €200m on offer from Al-Nassr was too good to turn down and Ronaldo subsequently left Manchester United for his new venture in January of this year.

Karim Benzema (Al Ittihad) – £172m

In much the same vein, Karim Benzema’s huge financial reward for ending his 14-year spell at Real Madrid was to make the move to Saudi Arabia.

Earning just a smidge less than Ronaldo, the Ballon d’Or winner takes home a cool £14.5m a month at the Saudi champions as he embarks on his first season in the Middle East.

Kylian Mbappe (PSG) – £100m

Despite his eye-watering offer to head to Saudi Arabia, Mbappe is already one of the top paid players in the world at PSG, earning a whopping £100m a year.

The 24-year-old could jump to the top of this list should he accept an offer from Al-Hilal but will do just fine if he doesn’t.

N’Golo Kante (Al Ittihad) – £86m

Continuing the trend, N’Golo Kante chose the riches of the Saudi Pro League as his next destination following his departure from Chelsea earlier this summer.

The World Cup winner pockets £68m a year alongside Benzema at Al Ittihad, a fine reward for a midfielder who was considered the best in the world during his prime years.

Neymar (Paris Saint Germain) – £53m

The uproar surrounding Neymar’s £198m move to Paris Saint-Germain back in 2017 and the financials involved sent shockwaves throughout the footballing world.

It’s a measure of how quickly things have evolved that Neymar now lies in fifth on this list. Still a monthly package of £2.5m should help ease the pain slightly.

Lionel Messi (Inter Miami) – £42m


Arguably the greatest to ever do it, Lionel Messi resisted temptation of a move to the Middle East and instead chose to link up with David Beckham in Miami.

Messi’s move to the MLS is seen as a real statement of intent as the league sets about trying to establish itself as a main player.

It’s been reported that Messi’s mega-money deal in the States will take his career earnings up to £1.2bn.

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