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Top Money Earners

suitcase-full-money.jpgAfter reading a thread here on the site, I did a bit of research to find information on the top paid players. No one on Arsenal’s squad makes an appearance until 60th place, where captain William Gallas pops up.

No big surprise that last year’s Footballer of the Year, AC Milan’s Kaká, tops the pile — raking in $286,876 per week, or just less than $15 million a year — with second-place Barcelona ace Ronaldinho making similar money. With his new deal, Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand, will move up the list and should be into the top ten.

Also remember that these numbers are just player wages and do not reflect endorsement deals or investments/holdings/net worth.

The Top Ten are:

1. Kaká (AC Milan): $14.9 million per year
2. Ronaldinho (FC Barcelona): $14.1 million
3. Frank Lampard (Chelsea): $13.5 million
4. John Terry (Chelsea): $13.5 million
5. Fernando Torres (Liverpool): $13.1 million
6. Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea): $12.9 million
7. Michael Ballack (Chelsea): $12.9 million
8. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United): $12.7 million
9. Thierry Henry (FC Barcelona): $12.7 million
10. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool): $12.7 million

It’s not exactly easy to decipher but the full list can be found over at

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  1. kgatla

    May 9, 2008 at 3:23 am

    its surprising that Beckam is not even in the top 10 but he tops the list when including endorsments nad invetments deals

  2. Alex Hleb

    April 17, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    hence, behold why arsene wenger is such a genious.

  3. JLay

    April 17, 2008 at 10:35 am

    To answer your question Ivan, no – those figures are strictly salary figures – endorsements would have to be added on…

  4. TheScout

    April 17, 2008 at 9:22 am


    Thanks for the suggestion. I will work on a longer piece comparing salaries for some of the American-based sports leagues (NBA, NFL, etc) as well as F1, rugby, etc.

    It might take me a little while to compile but look for it hopefully by next week ! 🙂

  5. Sanjay

    April 17, 2008 at 4:58 am

    The american athletes are paid much more. Let me just give you a few examples. Alex Rodriguez, of the New York Yankees earns a whopping $27.5 million a year. While his teammate and Yankes captain Derek jeter makes $18.9 million a year. Johan Santana who recently signed with the New York Mets is going to make about $23 million a year. In the NBA, Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers makes about $20 million a year while Jermaine O’Neal of the Indiana Pacers makes about $19 million a year. Star Quarterback Peyton Manning also makes close to $19 million a year. Ice hockey is clearly on the decline, The highest played hockey player Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is making about $10 million a year.
    The most highly paid athletes are in fact in the world of motor sport. In Formula 1, Current world champion, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen is making $51 million a year. While Fernando Alonso’s contract with McLaren(he has since left for former team Renault) was worth $40 million a year.

  6. Ivan

    April 17, 2008 at 1:10 am

    I’m pretty sure Cronaldo already signed a new deal with the Red Devils.

    Before i learnt about american sports and the amount money their sportsmen get paid i too thought footballers were miles in front considering the global appeal of the game. Some of the stuff ive read about A-Rod and all have ridiculous numbers that extend over longer contracts though and not sure whether they include endorsements or not. A suggestion for a interesting blog article perhaps should have comparisons with American sports and football… i know you can get revenue statistics on the forbes website and all, would be an interesting read.

  7. dragonki2012

    April 16, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Actually, T. Henry is still a gunner!

  8. Utd fan

    April 16, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    I think Ronaldo is about to sign a new contract that puts his earnings at the top of those in England, but still behind Kaka (and, I think, Ronaldinho)

  9. JLay

    April 16, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Great post Scout, and Mike, I find it very surprising thta they only make $15 mil in salary too!

    I’d have thought that they did at least as well as athletes in major American sports leagues, but I guess they make it up on global endorsements…

    Either way, very cool to see what these guys are pulling in – some of these guys are grossly overpaid, and others make way less than I’d have thought!

  10. Mike

    April 16, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Yeah this was the article I was talking about in the Gaffer’s post about the Man Utd-Arsenal game. I think it’s kinda surprising that the top players only earn between $11 mil to $15 mil a year.

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