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Soccer players are some of the highest-paid athletes in the entire world. In fact, if you only look at the salaries and not their endorsement deals, the top three spots in the world’s highest-paid athletes belong to soccer players. That’s because soccer is still the world’s most-played sport and is popular wherever in the world you may go to. But how do soccer players get paid?
In terms of evaluation, soccer players are considered to be paid on a weekly basis but most players are still paid by the week because of the historical roots surrounding that payment scheme. There is no certainty as to how soccer players get paid because that is usually dictated by the terms of the contract they signed.
Of course, the safest payment scheme to assume is that some players are paid according to what their contract states. It is just that, when you look at regular soccer players and not the ones who are under the largest contracts the sport has ever seen, these players are paid on a weekly basis. Still, let us try to look more into how soccer players are paid and how much the best players in the world are making.
How do soccer players get paid?
In most cases, a lot of professions are paid on a semi-monthly basis or twice a month, which happens in the middle of the month and at the end of the month. These are the people who often live off of their wages and need to get paid regularly so that they can keep up with the demands of their regular lives.
However, soccer players, although they are paid quite handsomely, are usually paid their salaries on a weekly basis especially when we consider the regular soccer players and not the ones who are making eight figures on an annual basis. As such, you would often see most soccer players receiving their pay every single week.
But you also have to consider the fact that the contract between the player and the team is still what counts the most when determining how the player will be paid. For example, if a certain player is earning $10 million dollars per year and his contract says that he will be paid every month, that means that he will be paid on a monthly basis.
Meanwhile, this weekly payment scheme can also be misleading because of how analysts are also using the weekly scheme whenever they try to evaluate the salaries of some soccer players. This is regardless of how the soccer players are getting paid. So, going back to the $10 million-dollar contract that is paid on a monthly basis, analysts will still evaluate that contract on a weekly basis instead of looking at it on a monthly basis.
So, why are soccer players paid on a weekly basis, and why are the contracts and salaries analyzed on a week to week basis?
Well, it goes back to the older and traditional times when soccer players in Europe were not making a lot of money yet and when they were considered the same as the rest of the working-class people such as the plumbers and the regular factory workers. That means that they were still living from paycheck to paycheck similar to the other working-class people during the 1940s and 50s when they still were not making a lot of money.
Now, even as the soccer players are making millions of dollars annually, the tradition has carried over from the grassroots days of the sport and most of the players are still getting paid their salaries on a weekly basis and their contracts are still analyzed and evaluated on how much they are earning per week. Still, the contract between the player and the team is still what matters the most, and they will follow the payment scheme that is indicated in the contract.
How much do soccer players make?
As we have mentioned, soccer players are now making a lot of money compared to when they were still considered to be at the level of working-class citizens when it comes to how much they were making on a weekly basis. Right now, the best players are easily making eight figures in terms of the annual dollars they are earning.
However, in terms of the average salary of soccer players, it still largely depends on the league and on the team they are playing on since different players are paid differently depending on where they are playing and on the team, they are playing for.
On average, the highest-paying soccer league in the world is the English Premier League, which pays their players nearly $4 million on an annual basis. The second highest-paying soccer league is La Liga, which has an annual salary of $2.55 million on average. Serie A and Bundesliga are not far behind with an annual salary of $2.23 million and $1.98 million respectively.
Generally speaking, the European leagues are paying their players higher salaries on average and are far ahead of what the American soccer players are making. The average Major League Soccer player earns about $400,000 on average compared to the annual millions that the European players are earning.
Meanwhile, the highest-paid MLS player is making less on an annual basis than what the highest-paid European player is making on a monthly basis as Michael Bradley has a salary of $6.5 million a year compared to the monthly salary of more than $9 million that Lionel Messi is earning.
Do soccer players get paid during the offseason?
So, with how much soccer players are making on a regular basis depending on what is stipulated in their contracts, do these players get paid by their teams even during the offseason when there are no games played and when they are given time off by their teams?
Well, it still depends on what the player’s contract says. There are some contracts that allow the players to make money from their teams even during the offseason. These are usually the players are that are making the most money from their respective teams as opposed to the players that are probably at the bottom of the list in terms of their salaries.
The reason why some teams would want their players to still get paid during the offseason is to foster loyalty and respect towards the organization. If you are a fan of the NBA, you might remember basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal during the early 2000s saying that he delayed getting surgery during the offseason because “he got hurt during company time” and that he wanted to recover during company time. Some soccer teams would want to avoid that kind of a scenario from their best players by allowing them to still earn money during the offseason so that they will learn how to respect the organization that pays them.
However, the players that aren’t earning as much probably don’t get to have that kind of treatment from their teams and are generally only making their money during the season because they really aren’t doing much during the offseason. Still, this can serve as a way for the player to try to improve and step up his game by working harder in the offseason so that he will get the same kind of contract that the highest-paid players are getting.
Who is the richest soccer player?
Soccer players are some of the highest-paid players in the entire world especially when you look at the ones that are playing in the European leagues and for the European ball clubs. In fact, in the most recent Forbes list of highest-paid athletes, three of the top four names on the list are soccer players. And if you simply base it on the salaries alone regardless of how much the player is making in his endorsements, the top three players are soccer players.
But, based on the list, the highest-paid soccer player is Lionel Messi, who earned $92 million coming from his salary alone. The $92 million he is earning is far ahead of any other player on the list as Cristiano Ronaldo is earning $70 million annually. Messi’s $34 million in endorsement deals increases his total earnings to $126 million over the past year. On the other hand, Ronaldo, who earned $117 million in total, is earning more than Messi in endorsement deals as he earned $47 million as the highest-earning endorser in soccer.
Completing the list of the five highest-earning soccer players are Neymar ($96 million), Kylian Mbappe ($42 million), and Mohamed Salah ($37 million).