‘Do what you love, and you will be rewarded heavily’. It is a saying passed on from generations after generations. Unsurprisingly, it is often those who play football who find themselves validating this wise message from our elders. Hence, we at FOX Sports Asia, take a look at five of the highest paid footballers in the world (Based on weekly wages).
#5 Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United)
Manchester United lured Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal during the 2017/18 January transfer window. The move was touted as one of the best coups of the modern era, with United beating the likes of Manchester City for his signature. What made the Chilean’s move to Old Trafford even sweeter was the fact that United didn’t have to shell out a single penny as a part of the ‘transfer fee’. Instead, they sent Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the opposite direction, whom Arsenal accepted as a fair compensation.
However, to say that Sanchez didn’t cost Manchester United anything would be untrue. In fact, the Red Devils paid the heaviest price possible, by making him the club’s highest paid player.
Sanchez is currently earning a whopping £390,000 a week in wages, which is almost one hundred thousand more than Paul Pogba. It is a shame, however, that the Chilean attacker hasn’t looked worth that wage for the Red Devils so far.
#4 Oscar (Shanghai SIPG)
Many would expect to find players like Gareth Bale, Gonzalo Higuain, or even Kevin de Bruyne in this spot. Instead, it is the former Chelsea star Oscar, who makes his way on to the fourth spot.
The Brazilian moved to China during Antonio Conte’s first season in charge of the club. While those at Chelsea respected Oscar’s talent, they understood soon that Conte had no plans for the youngster. Moreover, when an ‘irresistible’ offer from Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG arrived, the Blues’ hierarchy didn’t think twice.
Instead, the Brazilian was quickly dispatched to the far east, where he is currently playing for Shanghai SIPG with his countryman Hulk, and earning a staggering £400,000 per week in wages.
However, there is a cost that comes with such a high wage, as Oscar has effectively been retired from international duty. The Brazilian will have no complaints, however.
#3 Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
If there is ever a list out there which contains the words- the best or the greatest; one can be sure to find Lionel Messi in it. The Argentinian’s name has been correlated with the sport for decades now and is sure to go down in history as perhaps the ‘greatest ever’.
Stumbled upon by Barcelona at a young age, the Catalan club has so far refused to part ways with their best asset. Thankfully, they have always had the financial power to ensure that the little genius is satisfied. And so, signing his latest contract a little while ago, Lionel Messi is one of the top earners not only in football but sports as a whole.
In terms of number, the Argentinian makes around £500,000 per week which ranks him third on the list.
#2 Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
Unlike Lionel Messi, Ronaldo has never been a ‘one club man’. He has played for several top clubs in Europe, such as Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, and Real Madrid. This summer, when he decided to leave the fields of the Bernabeu and move to Turin, fans weren’t exactly shocked. Some even saw it coming, with the superstar always keen to move on to greener pastures.
However, for Juventus to lure Ronaldo to Italy, it took patience. The Old Lady weren’t at their financial best after their relegation to Serie B. Instead, they had to rebuild from scratch, make shrewd signings, and wait for their moment.
So when they offered a weekly wage of £510,000, the Portuguese superstar complied, making him the world’s second highest paid footballer.
#1 Neymar Jr. (Paris Saint Germain)
For Neymar, moving away from Barcelona wasn’t a choice, it was a necessity.
The Brazilian attacker had joined the Blaugrana in 2013, declining interest from almost the entire Europe. He soon formed an explosive trio, alongside Messi and Luis Suarez, and propelled Barcelona to several titles. However, the skilful winger soon realised that as long as he is in Spain, he would never truly be appreciated; purely due to the fact that he was always in the shadows of Lionel Messi.
And so, to put Neymar out of his misery, Paris Saint Germain arrived. The French club activated his release clause, paying a record fee in the process. They also went on to make him the highest paid footballer in the world in terms of weekly wages.
Currently, the Brazilian superstar is enjoying his stay in Paris, as he earns a massive paycheck worth £600,000 per week!