3 Highest-Paid Football Players of 2019

Who would’ve known that playing football can be the most lucrative professions out there? 

In July, Forbes released its annual list of the highest-paid athletes in the world. The year 2019 marked the first time that three soccer players appeared in the top three positions.

These three has commanding plays at the field as well as the star power to boot. Here they are.

#3 – Neymar (€92.8 million)

Neymar, whose real name is Neymar da Silva Júnior, currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) as a forward. He has a five-year contract with the club.

Signing in 2017, his transfer from Barcelona to PSG was one of the most expensive transfers. It was valued at €232.5 million, and the French club paid in full.

The bulk of his earnings is because of his paycheck. About €15 million of his total revenues are from his endorsements, however. Neymar has inked a deal with major global sponsors, including Nike, McDonald’s, and Red Bull. He was also the first player to have his Air Jordan sneakers customized by the Swoosh brand.

Neymar is the second most famous athlete in social media, with 124 million followers on Instagram alone. Cristiano Ronaldo has 179 million followers to date.

#2 – Cristiano Ronaldo (€96.4 million)

In 2018, Ronaldo signed a four-year deal with Juventus. The transfer fee was a staggering €112 million. He would also earn €56.5 annually for four years – his reported gross pay for the 2018-19.

Immediately after signing, Juventus made about €53 million by selling Ronaldo jerseys. The club was able to sell 520,000 jerseys within 24 hours. He also has a lifetime contract with Nike, amounting to €894 million. His other major sponsors are EA Sports, American Tourister, and Herbalife.

Ronaldo is a five-time FIFA Football Player of the Year. He also leads goalscoring in the EUFA Champions League.

#1 – Lionel Messi (€112.3 million) 

Messi plays for the FC Barcelona, which he will be playing for through 2021. He signed the new contract in 2017; the contract details were not released publicly. The Spanish club is currently giving him €70 million per season, aside from the bonuses that he was promised and as stipulated in the contract.

Messi and Ronaldo are said to have the most profit-making contracts in football history. After all, they are the only two players who scored over 100 goals in UEFA club competitions.

Joseph Maria Bartomeu, President to Barcelona club, even said that Messi is priceless. Celebrity Net Worth reported his estimated worth at €277 against Forbes €112.3 million.

Going back, he took home €75 million in winnings and salary in 2018. The rest is from endorsements. Messi was the second-highest paid athlete worldwide. 

The Argentinian forward had also signed a lifelong deal with Adidas. He also has sponsorships with Pepsi, Gatorade, Konami, and Huawei. Messi was also the face of Gilette, Tata Motors, and Turkish Airlines. 

In 2020, Messi Experience Park will open in Nanjing, China. It’s a theme park dedicated to the soccer superstar.

 

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Player Feature: Cristiano Ronaldo

Full Name: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro 

Birthdate: February 5, 1985

Birthplace: Funchal, Madeira, Portugal 

Current Team: Juventus

Position: Forward, Midfielder (Left)

Shirt number: 7

Years Active: 2001 – present

Key facts and stats

  • Appeared on more than 803 matches
  • Had a total of 601 goals
  • Golden Boot awardee in 2018-19 (EPL)
  • 2x Player of the Season (EPL)
  • 4x Player of the Month (EPL)
  • Serie A MVP
  • 37% shooting accuracy

Cristiano Ronaldo started playing football professionally in 2002, although he was already a part of the Portugal national team from 2001. He currently captains the Portugal team.

He started playing for Sporting Clube de Portugal B as a reserve in 2002 then, as a senior player the following year. He moved on to Manchester United when he was just 18 years old and Real Madrid from 2003 to 2009 and 2009 to 2018, respectively. In 2018, he transferred to Juventus.

His 2009 transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid has been one of the most expensive transfers in the world of football worth £80 million ($97 million) then. He broke this record when he signed up with Juventus with a transfer worth £100 million ($121 million). It was the highest-paid amount for a football player older than 30 years old. 

Hailed as one of the greatest football players of all time, Ronaldo has a total of 803 league appearances in a total of 17 leagues and cups. His most appearances are in La Liga (292), Premier League (196), and Champions League (162).

He scored the most goals at La Liga with 311, followed by Champions League with 126. He only had 84 goals so far for playing at the Premier League. He had a total of 601 goals as of 2018-19 season. Ronaldo is also the highest goalscorer of all-time among European players.

Ronaldo’s Premier League performance is widely received especially his last three seasons with the United. He had three championships and four Player of the Month awards. He was given the Golden Boot in the 2007-08 season, which means he was the leading goalscorer overall of that season. Ronaldo was also a two-time Player of the Season from 2006 to 2008.

He has a total of 29 trophies that include six league titles. Ronaldo has five Ballon d’Or awards; the most any European player has. He received his first Ballon d’Or when he was just 22 years old. He also had the most European Golden Shoe awards. Ronaldo was the current Serie A Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Ronaldo is known as an indirect set-piece threat. He likes to cut inside and do layoffs. Ronaldo has a solid finishing despite his very weak offside awareness. He dribbles, passes, and holds to the ball, but his defensive contributions are on the weaker side. He has a shooting accuracy of 37%.

The highest-paid athlete, Ronaldo’s popularity as a premier football player is evident in his influence on the youth. He has a celebrity status and compels the likes of Forbes to include him on its 100 most influential people worldwide list in 2014.

He has more than 170 million followers on Instagram – the most followed to date.

 

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Pogba ‘Sees His Future Elsewhere’ Despite the Push for Captaincy

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed he considers Paul Pogba, the Frenchman midfielder, as Mancher United’s next captain despite him being vocal about leaving this summer. Mino Raiola, Pogba’s agent, further along, is also keen on resolving his ward’s future who only wants “a new challenge somewhere else.’

Pogba is one of United’s key players this past season, providing an assist beginning the pre-season to a 2-0 victory against Perth Glory at the Optus Stadium in Australia. Pogba entered half-time while James Garner and Marcus Rashford scored the goals.

While he impressed, it was his first performance for the club since he publicly declared his desire to pursue either Juventus or Real Madrid last month. According to him, “there is no need to talk.”

While Real Madrid is equally vocal about its interest in buying him, both clubs are yet to put forward a formal bid. Scepticism grew whether either would bid for Pogba. Manchester United’s valuation of Pogba is more than £160 million.

Solskjaer, on the other hand, downplayed the idea and insisted that the United is under no pressure to sell. That is the complete opposite of Pogba’s actions as he tries to force his way out of Old Trafford before the transfer window closes on August 8.

United won’t allow Pogba to leave. The club also doubts that a club can meet the said valuation of the 26-year-old midfielder.

Amidst the brewing outgoing, Solskjaer said that the captaincy hasn’t been decided yet and promised to make an announcement when the season starts. The higher-ups still eye possibilities here and there, although the pre-season performance will form part of the assessment.

He also said that Ashley Young would wear the captain’s shirt until Manchester United decides on someone else. Young has worn the armband for a total of 30 games during the season. Antonio Valencia, the current club captain, hasn’t played since January 2.

Pogba regularly captained Manchester United, especially early in the 2018-19 season, despite clashing with Jose Mourinho who took vice-captain responsibilities. Solskjaer said about Pogba’s resuming of captaincy needs no explaining. 

Last season, Solskjaer claimed to build the team around Pogba. He would work on the basis of the midfielder remaining with Manchester United.

His only concern now is the growing influence of Pogba over the younger club players wherein he wasn’t setting an example to these players. His actions may undermine his authority as the manager since he is adamant about leaving the club as well.

Conflict within the dressing room is undeniable. The younger players are in awe of Pogba, but the more experienced players are growing weary and wary of the ‘unhealthy’ level of adoration. For the latter, Solskjaer must stop indulging the midfielder any further.

The boss also expressed dismay over the Frenchman’s decision to go public about him leaving United behind. Pogba announced on June during commercial commitment with Adidas.

Bryan Robson, a Manchester United legend, had also weighed in on the issue. He reminded Pogba, “You are contracted to Manchester United. You have to give everything for that club, that team and the fans.”

He also said that football players like him must take a good look at themselves in the mirror and decide what they want to happen with their football career. The agents can only guide them.

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