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The World’s Highest-Paid Soccer Players 2019

More or less everyone knows that soccer is the most important secondary thing in the world. Unless you are Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. In that case, the most important thing in the world is soccer.

They have high-profile signings, bonuses, sponsorship deals and an opportunity to be real-life superheroes and role models for children and adults around the globe.

Soccer is every year listed as the most popular sport worldwide. This sport gets so much in terms of media coverage, fans, and trophy matches.

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It’s no secret that soccer athletes have enormous paychecks. After all, for superstar performance, a superstar pay seems like a fair deal. Who are the highest-paid football players in 2019? Let’s found out.

20. Gerard Piqué

Total: $21.7M
Club: Barcelona Nation: Spain Age: 32
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Nike
Endorsements: $4M
Salary & Bonus: $17.7M

Piqué signed a contract extension with Barcelona in January 2018, until June 2022. A buyout clause is symbolic $600 million. When he is not scoring for Barsa, he spends his time with his wife, singer Shakira, and their two children.

When he is outside of the soccer field, Gerard is the president of investment firm Kosmos and the chairman of Tokyo-based e-commerce company ‘Rakuten’. Rakuten is also a Barcelona jersey sponsor.

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19. Graziano Pelle

Total: $21.7M
Club: Shandong Luneng Nation: Italy Age: 33
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Nike
Endorsements: $1M
Salary & Bonus: $20.7M

Back in 2016, Pelle decided to make a huge step in his career. Therefore, he decided to go for Shandong Luneng and leave Premier League’s Southampton. This was one of the sport’s highest pain transfers.

Still, European clubs were more than interested to sign him, but he decided to stay in China. So, Pelle renewed his contract with the Chinese Super League club in January.

18. Sergio Ramos

Total: $21.9M
Club: Real Madrid Nation: Spain Age: 33
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Nike
Endorsements: $2M
Salary & Bonus: $19.9M

Ramos was so wanted at one moment that he had to call for a press conference and to put rest gossips that he was leaving Real Madrid. However, he did say that a Chinese club has made him an offer.

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Ramos will stay with Real Madrid until June 2020 without a doubt. Recently he married Pilar Rubio, the mother of his three children and a Spanish television personality. Currently, he is developing a docuseries about his life for Amazon Prime.

17. James Rodríguez

Total: $22.1M
Club: Bayern Munich through June 2019, on loan from Real Madrid Nation: Colombia Age: 27
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Adidas, Marc Jacobs, Hublot
Endorsements: $4.5M
Salary & Bonus: $16.3M

Rodríguez won the Golden Boot Award and the 2014 World Cup and moved to Real Madrid after that. But he spends the majority of his time as a benchwarmer for $15 million-a-year. Rodríguez joined Bayern Munich on a two-year loan. At the time he is back to Real Madrid.

In the meantime, Rodríguez got some significant deals with Marc Jacobs, Hublot, and Calvin Klein. His biggest sponsor is Adidas. Little is known, but Adidas calls him to wear the No. 10 jersey for every team he represents. This can complicate future club transfers for sure.

16. Thiago Silva

Total: $22.5M
Club: Paris Saint-Germain Nation: Brazil Age: 34
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Nike
Endorsements: $1M
Salary & Bonus: $21.5M

Thiago, the Brazilian captain of Paris Saint-Germain, received his French citizenship after six and a half years playing in Paris. During that time he only missed two months of active playing, when he had to undergo knee surgery.

At the moment, Silva holds a current contract with PSG that runs through June 2020.

15. Sergio Agüero

Total: $22.6M
Club: Manchester City Nation: Argentina Age: 31
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Puma, Pepsi
Endorsements: $5.5M
Salary & Bonus: $17.1M

When Sergio, or Kun nicknamed by his grandfather, first joined the Manchester City he was the top goal scored. Just last year he became the club’s all-time leading goal scorer. His result: he hit the back of the net 199 times in 291 career appearances.

To celebrate his ‘all-star leading goal scorer’ moment, his sponsor Puma gifted him a pair of gold boots. Sergio signed a one-year contract extension, until 2021.

14. Luis Suárez

Total: $23.6M
Club: Barcelona Nation: Uruguay Age: 32
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Puma
Endorsements: $3.5M
Salary & Bonus: $20.1M

Barcelona pays Luis $20M in salary and bonuses and will continue paying him until July 2021. In his third season, he finished as La Liga’s second top goalscorer, just behind Messi.

In August this year, he switched Adidas for Puma, as his sponsor. Suarez is also involved with upstart tech gadget company Tronsmart in China and Tourism Malaysia.

13. Ángel Di María

Total: $23.7M
Club: Paris Saint-Germain Nation: Argentina Age: 31
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Adidas
Endorsements: $2M
Salary & Bonus: $21.7M

Ángel Di María signed a contract extension, so he will be seen with Paris Saint-Germain until June 2021. This season was one of the most flourish seasons for Di María.

This season Di María was one of the most creative players of the club. Moreover, he hit the back of the net 19 times in all team competitions. Furthermore, he led the team in assists.

12. Mohamed Salah

Total: $25.1M
Club: Liverpool Nation: Egypt Age: 26
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Adidas, EA Sports, Vodafone, DHL, AlexBank
Endorsements: $9M
Salary & Bonus: $16.1M

Salah signed a five-year deal with Liverpool in 2018 without a release clause. His contract in terms of base and bonus structure worth at least $15 million a year. In past two seasons, Salah nabbed the Premier League Golden Boot Award as the league’s top goalscorer. In addition, last season he was the league’s player of the year.

After each scoring Salah performs the sujud and fans celebrate with him. He is credited for reducing Islamaphobia in Liverpool. Fans call him Egyptian King. Adidas made Salah the face of the iconic 1970s-born Adicolor line of sport and streetwear.

11. Gareth Bale

Total: $27.1M
Club: Real Madrid Nation: Wales Age: 29
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Adidas, Wish
Endorsements: $6.5M
Salary & Bonus: $20.6M

Bale is a part of the Real Madrid family since October 2016 and he will stay with Real until June 2020. He was the first substitute to score two goals in 2018. Fans still remember his stunning overhead kick.

Bale’s future at Real is the subject of constant speculation. Even, Zinedine Zidane, clubs manager admitted that he denied Bale a farewell game. Bale is also an avid golfer.

10. Antoine Griezmann

Total: $27.7M
Club: Atlético Madrid Nation: France Age: 28
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Puma, Huawei
Endorsements: $4.5M
Salary & Bonus: $23.2M

Griezmann announced in May, via video, that he is living Madrid after five years. During those years he played 260 matches and scored 133 goals. He even set up or scored 14 goals by France that helped the country win the 2018 World Cup.

He is also known for celebrating scoring with a Fortnite dance. Antoine is long-sponsored by Huawei, the Chinese tech giant, and Puma, footwear maker.

9. Oscar

Total: $29M
Club: Shanghai SIPG Nation: Brazil Age: 27
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Adidas
Endorsements: $2M
Salary & Bonus: $27M

Oscar spend five years in Chelsea. After those five years and two Premier League titles, he made a shocking move and joined Shanghai SIPG in January 2017.

Until 2020 Oscar will take home, annually, $25 million. Oscar had a league-high 19 assists and scored 12 goals to help SIPG win the league in 2018.

8. Mesut Özil

Total: $30.2M
Club: Arsenal Nation: Germany Age: 30
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Adidas, Mercedes Benz, Beats by Dre
Endorsements: $6.5M
Salary & Bonus: $23.7M

Özil signed a contract extension with Arsenal in February 2018. Therefore, he is tye to the club until 2021. Özil made quite a buzz because of his photos with President Erdogan of Turkey. Because of those reactions, he left Germany’s national team.

President Erdogan was even a guest at Mesut’s wedding. Last year, in 2018, Mesut founded professional esports team M10 eSports to compete in EA Sport’s FIFA competitions. In 2019 he added a Fortnite team.

7. Kylian Mbappé

Total: $30.6M
Club: Paris Saint-Germain Nation: France Age: 20
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Nike, Hublot, Good Gout
Endorsements: $4M
Salary & Bonus: $26.6M

Initially, Kylian was on loan from Monaco, but now he is on a full contract with Paris Saint-Germain until 2022. In 2018 Kylian was 19-years-old become the youngest French player to score in a World Cup. Moreover, he became the second-youngest player to score in a World Cup final. The first one was the legendary Pelé.

In 2018, Kylian won the World Cup Best Player Young Player Award and won Ligue 1’s 2019 Player of the Year Award. He even donated $500,000 World Cup bonus to a charity that organizes sports events for disabled children. After Nike, watchmaker Hublot made Kylian its first active player global ambassador in 2018.

6. Alexis Sánchez

Total: $30.8M
Club: Manchester United Nation: Chile Age: 30
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Nike
Endorsements: $2.5M
Salary & Bonus: $28.3M

In January 2018, Alexis left Arsenal for Manchester United and he will stay with United through 2022. This past season was especially difficult for this player.

Alexis went through several different injuries and had just six goals. You can also see him in the film ‘Mi Amigo Alexis’. The movie tells a story about a boy from Chile who follows his hero’s example and footsteps.

5. Andrés Iniesta

Total: $32.5M
Club: Vissel Kobe Nation: Spain Age: 35
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Asics
Endorsements: $2.5M
Salary & Bonus: $30M

Iniesta spent three years as a captain in Barcelona before he decided to move to Vissel Kobe in Japan in 2018. At the same time, he ended a 19-year sponsorship with Nike and signed with Asics, a Japanese footwear company.

He also has his own business, a winery named, Bodega Iniesta. The company kicked-off in 2010 and is named ‘Minuto 116’ named for the minute when he scored the goal that gave Spain its first title. That was in 2010 World Cup.

4. Paul Pogba

Total: $33M
Club: Manchester United Nation: France Age: 26
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Adidas
Endorsements: $4M
Salary & Bonus: $29M

Paul spent four years with Juventus before he returned to Manchester United in 2016. At the time, he returned for $120 million transfer fee. That transfer was a record then. United relieve the manager of his duties in December.

The main reason why Pogba’s manager was relieved lies in Pogba’s struggle to get along and perform under 25-time trophy winner José Mourinho. Paul has a soft heart for disadvantaged high schoolers, so he donated the money from his auctioned, 2018 World Cup-winning, Adidas-sponsored shoes.

3. Neymar Jr.

Total: $105M
Club: Paris Saint-Germain Nation: Brazil Age: 27
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Nike, Red Bull, EA Sports, Mastercard, Gaga Milano, Gillette, Beats by Dre, DAZN
Endorsements: $30M
Salary & Bonus: $75M

Neymar’s transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain stands as the most expensive in the world at $263 million. PSG even paid in full ahead of his signing. Neymar will play for PSD through June 2022. During that period he will earn more than $600 million.

Neymar is the second-most-popular athlete on social media with 223 million followers across various media platforms. In 2016 he had to pay $1.2 million fine for avoiding taxes. This month a woman filed a rape claim against him, but he denied the allegations. He also lost Brazil’s national team captaincy after an altercation with a fan.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

Total: $109M
Club: PJuventus Nation: Portugal Age: 34
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Nike, Herbalife, Altice, DAZN, MTG, Electronic Arts, CR7 line of denim, underwear, footwear, fragrance, hotels and gyms
Endorsements: $44M
Salary & Bonus: $65M

Ronaldo joined Juventus after nine years with Real Madrid, on July 2018. By selling Ronaldo’s jerseys Juventus earned over $60 million within a day of release. Ronaldo is one of the worlds most popular players, and it comes as no surprise when you know that he has won FIFI’s Player of the Year Award five times.

Ronaldo is the most followed athlete on social media, with 370 million followers. In January, he had to pay $21 million fine for tax evasion. At the moment he faces a rape claim case filed in federal court in the States. He has denied the allegations.

1. Lionel Messi

Total: $127M
Club: FC Barcelona Nation: Argentina Age: 31
Largest Sponsor/Partner: Adidas, Gatorade, Lays, Pepsi, Ooredoo, Mastercard, Jacobs & Co.
Endorsements: $35M
Salary & Bonus: $92M

Messi played for Barcelona for the first time in November 2013. Ever since he has played 687 matches for this club. In the meantime, he scored 603 goals and won 33 club titles, including 10 La Liga championships. He will stay with this club through 2020-21.

He has been awarded FIFA’s Player of the Year Award five times and won the European Golden Show for top scorer in Europe a record six times. Together with his father, he was convicted of tax fraud in 2016 and had to pay $2.25 million fine. In addition, he had to pay $250,00 to avoid prison.

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