With the FIFA World Cup 2022 fast approaching, each national team is scouting highly skilled players at the top of their game. But top talent comes at a cost, the wages of the world’s top soccer players are at an all-time high.
To satisfy our curiosity over who is paid the most in 2022, Voetbal Travel analysed salaries of over 32,000 active soccer players from 200+ countries, mapping each nation’s highest paid soccer star!
France has the highest paid soccer player in the world with Kylian Mbappe earning over $88 million a year. Argentina is second, with Lionel Messi ($59m) and Brazil third with Neymar ($50m).
Earning nearly $21m annually, Sadio Mané ranked as the highest paid soccer player in Africa!
The 37-year-old Christiano Ronaldo is the highest paid soccer player in Portugal while Eden Hazard is the highest earner in Belgium. Together with Mbappé, they are the top 3 highest paid footballers in Europe.
South Korean superstar Heung-Min Son is the highest paid in the country and in Asia. Paris Saint-Germain hosts the most affluent stars in six nations, followed by Napoli, Liverpool and Barcelona with four.
The English Premier League is home to the country’s best paid stars (24).
World Top 5
Voetbal Travel can reveal that in first place is France. Their highest paid player Kylian Mbappé is earning $88,359,383 a year, making him the highest paid soccer player in the world! It is not surprising to see this PSG superstar topping the list after signing a record-breaking lucrative contract this summer. Will Kylian Mbappé surprise the world with his talents again and help France break the World Cup champion’s curse in 2022?
In second place is Argentina, with Lionel Messi earning $58,782,360 annually and over $1m weekly! Despite being an older player, Messi is still the star for both his club and his national team. Having lifted Copa America Cup with his team in 2021 and awarded Golden Boot as the top scorer, Messi will once again captain Argentina in Qatar 2022 which is likely to be his last chance to win the World Cup.
Ranking third is another South American country Brazil, with Neymar earning $50,494,047 per year. Debuting for the Brazil national team at only 18, Neymar has capped 119 times and scored 74 goals for his home country.
The 37-year-old Christiano Ronaldo is the highest paid soccer player in Portugal with a salary of $30,295,524 and Belgium’s current highest paid player is the Real Madrid’s midfielder Eden Hazard ($29,391,180).
Highest paid soccer player per continent
With PSG teammates Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi being the world’s top two highest paid soccer players, they ranked as the highest paid players respectively for Europe and South America.
Considered one of the greatest African players of all time, Senegal’s all-time top goalscorer Sadio Mané is the highest earning player in Africa! Transferred from Liverpool FC to Bayern Munich in the latest window, his new contract promises an annual salary of $21,382,762.
In North America, Christian Pulisic from the United States men’s national soccer team is the best paid soccer player, with an annual salary of $8,817,354 paid by his club Chelsea.
On the other side of the world, Heung-Min Son is crowned the highest paid Asian soccer player in 2022. Having played for Tottenham Spurs in the English Premier League for seven years, the South Korean national team captain is earning $11,286,213 annually.
As New Zealand’s leading goal scorer, Chris Wood has been playing in the English leagues since 2009 and is on a salary of $4,702,589 after joining Newcastle United this year. This places him as the highest paid soccer player in Oceania.
Clubs with most nation’s affluent stars
Paris Saint-Germain hosts the most affluent stars in six countries. Aside from paying the top three highest soccer players’ salaries in the world, they also have the most affluent players from Costa Rica, Italy and Morocco. This is followed by S.S.C. Napoli from Italian Serie A, Liverpool F.C. from English Premier League and FC Barcelona from La Liga for owning four nation’s highest paid soccer players.
The English Premier League is home to 24 country’s best paid stars, higher than Italian Serie A(18), La Ligue(15), Ligue 1(12), Saudi Professional League(10) and any other soccer leagues in the world.