Top 10 Highest Paid Footballers in 2021

Football is not just a game; it’s a global phenomenon that captures the hearts of millions.

Alongside their unmatched talent and skills, professional footballers also earn massive sums of money, thanks to their lucrative contracts, endorsements, and sponsorship deals.

In this article, we will delve into the details of the top 10 highest paid footballers in 2021, shedding light on their earnings and the factors that contribute to their astronomical incomes.

1. Lionel Messi – FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)

Lionel Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, made headlines in 2021 when he left FC Barcelona to join Paris Saint-Germain. His annual salary of €71 million ($84 million) coupled with his various endorsement deals, including partnerships with Adidas and Pepsi, secured him the top spot on the list of highest paid footballers.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo – Juventus FC to Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo, another football legend, returned to Manchester United from Juventus in a move that thrilled fans worldwide. With an annual salary of €60 million ($71 million), Ronaldo stands second on the list. He also enjoys endorsement deals with companies like Nike and Tag Heuer, further boosting his income.

3. Neymar Jr. – Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)

Neymar Jr., the Brazilian superstar, has been a key player for Paris Saint-Germain since his transfer from Barcelona. He earns a staggering €48 million ($57 million) per year. Neymar Jr. endorses various brands, including Nike, Gillette, and Beats by Dre, which contribute to his overall earnings.

4. Kylian Mbappé – Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)

Kylian Mbappé, the French prodigy, has proven himself as one of the most promising talents in football. His annual salary of €35 million ($41 million) places him among the highest paid players in the world. Alongside his on-pitch exploits, Mbappé has endorsements with brands like Nike and Hublot.

5. Mohamed Salah – Liverpool FC

Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian sensation who has dazzled the Premier League with his skills, receives an annual salary of €31 million ($37 million) from Liverpool FC. He has endorsement deals with Adidas, Vodafone, and DHL, among others, contributing to his overall earnings.

6. Antoine Griezmann – Barcelona FC to Atlético Madrid

Antoine Griezmann returned to his former club, Atlético Madrid, from Barcelona in 2021. His annual salary of €29 million ($34 million) makes him one of the highest earning footballers. Griezmann endorses brands like Puma and Head & Shoulders.

7. Gareth Bale – Real Madrid to Tottenham Hotspur

Gareth Bale, the Welsh winger, returned to Tottenham Hotspur from Real Madrid on a loan deal. His annual salary of €28 million ($33 million) places him among the top earners in football. Bale has endorsement deals with Adidas and Electronic Arts.

8. Paul Pogba – Manchester United

Paul Pogba, the French midfield maestro, is an integral part of Manchester United’s squad. With an annual salary of €28 million ($33 million), Pogba secures a spot among the highest paid footballers. Pogba endorses brands like Adidas and Call of Duty.

9. Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski, the Polish striker, had a phenomenal 2021 season with Bayern Munich, breaking numerous records. He earns an annual salary of €24 million ($28 million)

and has endorsement deals with Nike and EA Sports, further adding to his income.

10. David De Gea – Manchester United

David De Gea, the Spanish goalkeeper, has been a mainstay in the Manchester United lineup for several seasons. His annual salary of €24 million ($28 million) places him in the top 10 highest paid footballers. De Gea endorses brands like Adidas and Pepsi.


Who is the highest paid footballer in 2021?

The highest paid footballer in 2021 is Lionel Messi, who signed a contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) with an annual salary of €71 million ($84 million).

Are all the earnings of footballers from their club salaries?

No, footballers earn money from various sources, including club salaries, endorsement deals, sponsorship agreements, appearance fees, and bonuses.

How do endorsement deals contribute to a footballer’s income?

Endorsement deals involve footballers promoting and representing brands, earning them substantial amounts of money. These deals often include advertising campaigns, product endorsements, and licensing agreements.

Which brands are commonly associated with footballers?

Footballers often endorse well-known brands such as Nike, Adidas, Puma, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and various luxury brands like Rolex, Hublot, and Tag Heuer.

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