Must Be the Money! The 10 Highest Paid Football Players in the World

As the sport grows, the money involved in football reaches astronomical heights, as the Mirror reported.

Yet, which players warrant the biggest wage package each week?

You may well be surprised by some of the names that make up the list of the 10 highest paid footballers in the world…

10. Graziano Pelle

Annual wage: £15m-per-year

The Shandong Luneng striker is the first of a number of players based in the Chinese Super League that make up this list. Pelle left Southampton in 2016 to chase the money in the east, having established himself as an Italian international following his form for the Saints.

9. Paul Pogba

Annual wage: £15.4m

Formerly the world’s most expensive player, following his move from Juventus back to Manchester United two seasons ago, French international Pogba is the highest paid player in the Premier League.

8. Kylian Mbappe

Annual wage: £15.9m

What a rise to the top Kylian Mbappe has had. Almost completely unheard of over a year ago, the PSG forward is already one of the most dangerous forwards in the world and is the youngest player in this list. 

7. Hulk

Annual wage: £17.6m

Powerful Brazilian forward Hulk was one of the first big superstars to arrive in China and he was handsomely rewarded as a result. Plying his trade for Shanghai SIPG, the 31-year-old has scored 34 goals in 52 games. 

6. Cristiano Ronaldo

Annual wage: £18.5m

The Portuguese superstar may be reaching the back end of his glittering career, but he still takes home a mammoth pay packet every year. Ronaldo remains the darling of Real Madrid, but his time in the Spanish capital is coming to an end it seems.

5. Ezequiel Lavezzi

Annual wage: £20.3m

Argentinian winger Ezequiel Lavezzi is finally showing Hebei China Fortune fans why he is the 5th best paid player on the planet, after an injury-ridden first season in the Chinese Super League. 

4. Oscar

Annual wage: £21.2m

Yet another South American star who abandoned European football in favour of the CSL, Oscar left Chelsea just over a year ago to join compatriot Hulk at Shanghai SIPG and, in the process, earn himself a small fortune each year. 

3. Neymar

Annual wage: £31.7m

The transfer of Brazilian phenomenon Neymar from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain this past summer shocked the entire world of sport. The 25-year-old became the world’s most expensive footballer of all time, but can only get bronze in terms of his annual wage. 

2. Carlos Tevez

Annual wage: £33.5m

Although Tevez’s move back to Boca Juniors means he will no longer earn this kind of money each week, the former Man United and Man City man was on an eye-watering amount of money whilst on the books of Shanghai Shenhua. 

1. Lionel Messi

Annual wage: £40.5m

Standing head and shoulders above his rivals in terms of annual wage, few could argue against Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi earning the most of any of his fellow superstars, with the Argentinian continuing to prove why he could be the greatest of all time.