Forbes’ Top 14 Highest-Paid Footballers In The World In 2020

Forbes’ Top 14 Highest-Paid Footballers In The World In 2020

Paydays for the world’s top-earning athletes dropped for the first time in four years, according to the 2020 Forbes ranking as the corona virus has caused a lot of negatives on sports and cancelled or postponed many important events for the first time since World War II.

The 100 highest-paid athletes earned a combined $3.6 billion this year, which is 9% below 2019 and the first decline since 2016, when boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao skewed the results with a $400 million pay-out from their May 2015 “Fight of the Century” pay-per-view bout.

Roger Federer takes the top spot for the first time, with $106 million of pre-tax earnings, edging past Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have swapped the No.1 spot in three of the past four years. The two soccer icons earned a combined $209 million during the past 12 months, a $28 million drop from 2019, due to salary reductions at many European soccer clubs when league play was halted in March.

In this article, KobbyKyeiNews.com takes you through the 14 footballers that made it to Forbes’ Top 100 highest paid athletes in the world. Despite the coronavirus causing some havocs, there has been an increment in the number of footballers in the list compared to last year, 2019(12) and also the money earned by footballers in 2020 has increased from $607M (2019) to $613M.

Well without much ado, let’s go through the 2020 Top 14 Highest Paid Footballers in the world;

14. SERGIO RAMOS (World Number 100)

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Football

SALARY/WINNINGS: $18.8M

ENDORSEMENTS: $3M

SPONSORS: Anheuser Busch InBev, Nike

EARNINGS $21.8M

• Ramos has played 640 games for Real Madrid since joining in 2005 and has won four La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles with the club.

• The Spanish defender’s current contract expires in June 2021.

• Amazon Prime released an eight-part documentary series “The Heart of Sergio Ramos” in September 2019.

• The series explored the off-field life of the Real Madrid and Spanish national team captain

13. GARETH BALE (World Number 73)

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Football

SALARY/WINNINGS: $19.7M

ENDORSEMENTS: $5.5M

SPONSORS: Adidas

EARNINGS $25.2M

• In 2016, Bale signed a contract extension with Real Madrid through June 2022 that is worth up to $33 million in salary and bonus annually.

• He expressed interest in joining Major League Soccer during an April 2020 podcast with the chairman of the International Champions Club.

• An avid golfer, Bale replicated three of the world’s most famous golf holes in his backyard.

• During coronavirus isolation, he posted videos on social media pitching TaylorMade clubs and practicing golf trick shots.

• He launched his own esports company Ellevens Esports in February 2020 to initially compete in the FIFA eClub World Cup.

12. ALEXIS SANCHEZ (World Number 69)

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Football

SALARY/WINNINGS: $24.6M

ENDORSEMENTS: $1M

SPONSORS: Nike

EARNINGS $25.6M

• Manchester United agreed to send Sanchez on a season-long loan to Inter Milan in August 2019.

• The forward hurt his ankle while playing for the Chilean national team in October and missed three months of action for the Italian club.

• Sanchez originally moved to Manchester United from Arsenal in 2018; he earns between $400,000 and $500,000 a week plus an annual $1 million bonus.

11. DAVID DE GEA (World Number 67)

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Football

SALARY/WINNINGS: $21.2M

ENDORSEMENTS: $5.5M

SPONSORS: Huawei, Puma

EARNINGS $25.7M

• David De Gea signed a contract extension with Manchester United in September 2019 that keeps him at Old Tafford until 2023.

• He will be paid an average $23 million annually, making him the highest-paid goalkeeper in the world.

• Adidas released a special pair of goalkeeper gloves in his honour in 2019 to celebrate his 100th Premier League match shutout.

• De Gea has been married to Spanish singer, actress and TV host Edune since 2010.

10. ANTOINE GRIEZMANN (World Number 60)

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Football

SALARY/WINNINGS: $21.2M

ENDORSEMENTS: $5.5M

SPONSORS: Huawei, Puma

EARNINGS $26.7M

• After five years at Atletico Madrid, the French striker signed a five-year deal with rival Barcelona in July 2019.

• Griezmann is long-sponsored by footwear maker Puma and Chinese tech giant Huawei.

• He either scored or set up eight of the 14 total goals for France that helped the country win the 2018 World Cup.

• The avid video gamer and his brother launched Grizi Esport, which began competing in Fortnite tournaments in 2020.

9. OSCAR (World Number 56)

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Football

SALARY/WINNINGS: $25.8M

ENDORSEMENTS: $1.7M

SPONSORS: Adidas

EARNINGS $27.5M

• After five years at Chelsea and two Premier League titles, Oscar made a shocking move to Shanghai SIPG of the Chinese Super League in 2017.

• The Brazilian midfielder quadrupled his weekly take-home pay and now makes more than $25 million annually through 2020.

• In 2020, the CSL imposed a salary cap on foreign signings and on clubs, which will prevent Oscar from renewing his deal at his current salary.

8. PAUL POGBA (World Number 50)

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Football

SALARY/WINNINGS: $23M

ENDORSEMENTS: $5.5M

SPONSORS: Adidas, PepsiCo

EARNINGS $28.5M

• After four years with Juventus, Pogba returned to Manchester United in 2016 for a then-record $120 million transfer fee.

• His 5-year contract with United pays more than $20 million a year.

• In February 2020, his agent Mino Raiola took to social media to lecture Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that Pogba is not the club’s “prisoner.”

• The French midfielder actively promotes charities to end racism and clean oceans. His own foundation is focused on clean drinking water in Africa.

7. MESUT OZIL (World Number 49)

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Football

SALARY/WINNINGS: $23.2M

ENDORSEMENTS: $5.5M

SPONSORS: Adidas, Beats Electronics, Mercedes-Benz

EARNINGS $28.7M

• Mesut Ozil’s current contract keeps him at Arsenal until 2021 and pays him an estimated $24 million annually.

• The midfielder quit Germany’s national team in 2018, citing racism by the German federation president.

• Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan served as Ozil’s best man at his June 2019 nuptials.

• In December 2019, Ozil took to social media to condemn China for its treatment of the Uighur people, a Muslim minority group in the country.

• He founded esports team M10 eSports in 2018 which competes in both Fortnite and EA Sports FIFA competitions.

6. ANDRÉS INIESTA (World Number 46)

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Football

SALARY/WINNINGS: $26.6M

ENDORSEMENTS: $3M

SPONSORS: Asics, Mikakus

EARNINGS $29.6M

• Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta came up through Barcelona’s training academy and spent 22 years, including three as captain, at the Catalan club.

• Iniesta joined Japan’s Vissel Kobe squad in 2018 on a 3-year deal.

• Another change: after nearly two decades with Nike, he signed a multi-year deal with Japanese footwear company Asics.

• Japanese online retailer Rakuten bankrolled the documentary “Andres Iniesta: The Unexpected Hero” which debuted in April 2020.

• His winery began production in 2010; it includes Minuto 116 for the minute in the 2010 World Cup when he scored the goal that gave Spain their first ever world cup trophy against Netherlands.

5. KYLIAN MBAPPE (World Number 36)

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Football

SALARY/WINNINGS: $23.1M

ENDORSEMENTS: $12M

SPONSORS: Adidas, DHL International, Electronic Arts, ExxonMobil, Vodafone-USD

EARNINGS $33.8M

• The Frenchman is on full contract with Paris Saint-Germain until 2022, making over $20 million annually plus performance bonuses.

• In 2018, 19-year old Mbappé became the youngest Frenchmen to score in a World Cup and the second-youngest after Pele to score in a World Cup Final.

• The star forward won Ligue 1’s 2019 Player of the Year Award and was its 2018-19 and 2019-20 top goal scorer.

• Nike released Mbappé’s first Mercurial shoe in December 2019.

• Watchmaker Hublot made Mbappé its first active player global ambassador in 2018.

4. MOHAMED SALAH (World Number 34)

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Football

SALARY/WINNINGS: $23.1M

ENDORSEMENTS: $12M

SPONSORS: Adidas, DHL International, Electronic Arts, ExxonMobil, Vodafone-USD

EARNINGS $35.1M

• Salah signed a five-year deal with Liverpool in July 2018 that is heavily incentivized for his performance.

• He was the club’s top goal scorer in both Premier League and Champions League competitions for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.

• The ‘Egyptian King’ helped propel his club to a second consecutive UEFA Champions League Final in 2019 and won it with Liverpool.

• Adidas made Salah the face of its iconic 1970s-born Adicolor line of sportswear and had him appear to walk on water in a 2019 ad campaign.

• The Reds fans celebrate him by singing “If he scores another few then I’ll be Muslim too”; he is credited for reducing Islamophobia in Liverpool.

3. NEYMAR (World Number 4)

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Football

SALARY/WINNINGS: $70.5M

ENDORSEMENTS: $25M

SPONSORS: Beats Electronics, DAZN, Electronic Arts, Gillette, Mastercard, Nike, Red Bull, TCL

EARNINGS $95.5M

• Neymar is on a five-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain through June 2022 worth $350 million in salary.

• His transfer from Barcelona to PSG stands as the most expensive in the world at $263 million, which the French club paid in full ahead of his signing.

• The Brazilian is the second most popular athlete on social media with a combined 244 million followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

• Nike’s Jordan Brand signed Neymar as its first soccer ambassador in 2016. In March 2020 its film unit released a movie about his life.

2. LIONEL MESSI (World Number 3)

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Football

SALARY/WINNINGS: $72M

ENDORSEMENTS: $32M

SPONSORS: Adidas, Gatorade, Huawei, Mastercard, Pepsi

EARNINGS $104M

• Messi has been awarded both FIFA’s Player of the Year and the European Golden Shoe for top scorer on the continent a record six times.

• His current Barcelona contract is through 2020-21 and pays him over $80 million annually. He also has a lifelong deal with Adidas.

• His 438 goals, including 36 hat tricks for Barcelona, is a club and La Liga record.

• The Argentine superstar launched his own clothing line and opened his first retail outlet, The Messi Store, in September 2019 in Barcelona.

• The World Health Organization tapped Messi in March 2020 to help lead a worldwide campaign aimed at stopping the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

1. CRISTIANO RONALDO (World number 2)

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Football

SALARY/WINNINGS: $60M

ENDORSEMENTS: $45M

SPONSORS: Altice, DAZN, Herbalife, MTG, Nike, Unilever

EARNINGS $105M

• Ronaldo is the most followed athlete on social media. His Instagram followers hit 200 million in 2020.

• The Portuguese star joined Juventus in 2018 after nine years with Real Madrid. He took a pay cut with his four-year deal worth $64 million annually.

• Within 24 hours of release, Juventus sold 520,000 Ronaldo jerseys worth over $60 million.

• He was the club’s top scorer, with 28 goals during the 2018-19 season on the way to the club winning both the Serie A title and the Italian Super Cup.

• He has won FIFA’s Player of the Year five times and is the all-time leading goal scorer in the UEFA Champions League.

By: Kwabena Asante Marfo, KobbyKyeiSportsNews