How Much do Soccer Players Make?

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

How much do soccer players make? That is a question that many new players or fans, or maybe even people that have been following the sport for a while may be wondering. At the highest levels of the beautiful game players get paid tens of millions of dollars, but that only makes up the top 1% of professional players that you see on TV playing in the best leagues around the world.

The remaining 98% of players do not make something even close to that number and when you dig into how much soccer players make, it becomes clear there’s more than meets the eye. In this blog I will explain the financial realities of becoming a professional soccer player and the average salaries for different leagues around the world.

How Much Do Soccer Players Make

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Financial Realities

Professional soccer consists of a wide range of players salaries. Factors such as their nationality, league, country, skill level, and personal brand, can significantly influence how much they make.

Averaging out salaries across all leagues, professional soccer players worldwide earn around $60,000 annually. However, this figure can vary greatly depending on whether the player is associated with an elite European club or a less competitive league elsewhere.

To get a more in-depth look at the financial realities of professional soccer check out this video by Become Elite

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Earnings of the Big Five Leagues in Europe

Talented players are often drawn to nations that provide generous salaries, with the top five European Leagues being England, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France. These five nations are home to some of the most prestigious football leagues globally, which allows them to offer massive contracts to attract world-class talent.

In particular, England’s Premier League, one of the world’s second-richest leagues mainly due to their television deals and sponsorship agreements, pays its average player about $3 million each year, making it one of the highest-paying countries in terms of average annual salary for professional players.

Though still lower than those in England, Spains’ La Liga ($2.2 million), Germany’s Bundesliga ($1.9 million), Italy’s Serie A ($1.8 million), and France’s Ligue 1 ($1.5 million) also offer high wages. It’s important to note that these figures represent averages, and the best players will earn far more while some may earn far less.

MLS Salaries Versus Other Leagues

In professional soccer, salaries can vary significantly from one league to another. Despite its rapid growth and reputation in the United States, Major League Soccer (MLS) salaries remain lower than Europe’s best leagues.

According to the New York Times, “The average MLS salary is $530,262 in 2023, up 3.5% from $512,287 in 2022.” US Soccer is growing fast so expect these figures to change eventually.

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The Highest Paid Soccer Players in the World

Because soccer is the most popular sport in the world, soccer players are some of the highest paid athletes in general. You can check out a list of the highest paid athletes in 2024 here.

Here is a list of the top 5 highest paid players which includes some of the best players of all time. 

  • Cristiano Ronaldo
    • Al Nassr
    • Saudi Pro League
    • 173 Million
  • Neymar Jr
    • Al Hilal
    • Saudi Pro League
    • 86 Million
  • Karim Benzema
    • Al Ittihad
    • Saudi Pro League
    • 85 Million
  • Kylian Mbappé
    • Paris Saint Germain
    • Ligue 1
    • 62 Million
  • Lionel Messi
    • Inter Miami
    • Major League Soccer
    • 55 Million

Frequently Asked Questions

How do professional soccer players earn money?

Professional soccer players earn money in a variety of ways and the amount they earn will differ from player to player and based on several factors.

  • Money from their contract with their club for the season
  • Performance bonuses
  • Endorsement deals
  • Transfer fees
  • Prize money

Who is the highest paid soccer player?

Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest paid soccer player. His player’s salary is 173 Million with a weekly salary of $3,089,285.

Who are the highest paid players in the English Premier League?

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) is the highest paid player from the English Premier league with an average salary of 20.8 Million per year. After De Bruyne is Erling Haaland, also from Manchester City and in third is Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

Who is the highest paid soccer player in the German Bundesliga?

Harry Kane (Bayern Munich) is the highest paid player in the Bundesliga with total earnings of 21 Million per year.

Who is the highest paid soccer player in the Spanish La Liga?

Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) is the highest paid player in La Liga with total earnings of 21 Million per year.

What is the best soccer training program?

The best online soccer training program and soccer app is Football Entangled. There is no other program like Football Entangled on the market and this community, much more than just an app, will help you get closer to making your dreams a reality.

How can I learn more about the game?

To learn more about soccer the most important thing is to join a team and play the game as much as possible. If possible, analyze high level games as much as you can and your own games as well by recording them with a soccer camera. Also read soccer books, listen to podcasts and interviews watch soccer documentaries, as well as some movies, tv shows, and anime.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is very important to understand the financial realities of world football because what we see on TV may not be completely accurate and give an overall representation of average salaries for professional soccer players around the world. In this blog, I covered all the basic information you need to know about

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