Neymar becomes second highest paid footballer in the world


Neymar’s eye-watering move to Paris Saint-Germain has been the talk of the footballing world this week.

Arsene Wenger described his £198million switch from Barcelona as ‘irrational’, with the Arsenal manager admitting he is unable to compete at the top end of an inflated market.

La Liga officials tried to block it at the 11th hour, refusing to initially accept payment of the player’s buyout clause believing that the bid was in breach of Financial Fair Play rules, but the Brazilian is now a PSG player.

Having smashed the previous world transfer record paid by Manchester United for Paul Pogba last summer, Neymar will now be expected to sell shirts, move mountains and be the figurehead of his new club.

To break down just how much Neymar will earn at the Parc des Princes, his £500,000 weekly wage works out at roughly: £71,428 a day, £2,976 an hour, £50 a minute, and 82 pence a second.

But while many would expect a deal that is collectively worth £450m in fees and wages to mean the 25-year-old is the world’s richest player, he is in fact only second on the list.


The Chinese Super League still boasts six of the top 10 highest earners, with Carlos Tevez top of the pile on his staggering £34m a year (£650,000 a week) at Shanghai Shenua.

The former Manchester City forward tried to play down his status upon his arrival in January saying ‘My salary isn’t as high as the legends’, but perhaps he was just trying to take the pressure off his shoulders.

A record of just one goal in seven CSL appearances has led to suggestions he may quit this summer, but he is not the only Argentine who commands a high salary in the Far East.

Ezequiel Lavezzi left PSG to join Hebei China Fortune in February 2016, and the winger is perhaps best known since the move for having to apologise after insulting Chinese people with his team photo antics.

Such behaviour was all the more distasteful given he earns £24m a year (£460,000 a week), making him No 3 on the current world’s rich list behind Neymar – but in front of Shanghai SIPG midfielder Oscar (£22.5m a year – £432,600 a week).

Lionel Messi is believed to be on the same salary as Oscar at Barcelona, having agreed a contract extension until 2021 last month, placing him ahead his old foe Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Real Madrid star is the sixth richest player in the world when it comes to earnings based purely on football, with the Portuguese taking home £19m a year (£365,000 per week) following his new five-year deal last November.

Ronaldo is closely followed by team-mate Gareth Bale on £18.25m per year (£350,000 a week) with his last contract signed in October 2016 initially making him the club’s highest earner.

The final three to make the world’s top 10 richest all ply their trade in China, with Brazilian forward Hulk earning £16.5m a year (£317,000 a week) – a second entry for Shanghai SIPG coming in at No 8.

Former Arsenal forward Gervinho is a surprise inclusion on the list, pocketing £16.25m a year courtesy of his current deal with Hebei China Fortune and the Ivory Coast forward is on the same salary as Tianjin Quanjian midfielder Axel Witsel.

The Belgium international was linked with a move to the Premier League last summer following Euro 2016, but in the end he opted to sign a £312,500-a-week deal with a side that had just been promoted from the Chinese second tier.

Pogba, the Premier League’s highest earner on £290,000 per week (£15m per year), is 11th on the list.


1) Carlos Tevez (Shanghai Shenhua) £650,000 per week £34m per year

2) Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) £500,000 per week £26m per year

3) Ezequiel Lavezzi (Hebei China Fortune) £460,000 per week £24m a year

4) Oscar (Shanghai SIPG) £432,600 per week £22.5m per year

5) Lionel Messi (Barcelona) £432,600 per week £22.5m per year

6) Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) £365,000 per week £19m per year

7) Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) £350,000 per week £18.25m per year

8) Hulk (Shanghai SIPG) £317,000 per week £16.5m per year

9) Gervinho (Hebei China Fortune) £312,500 per week £16.25m per year

10) Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian) £312,500 per week £16.25m per year

  •  All estimated figures are pre-tax, except in these cases where figures are post-tax. Sums may vary according to bonus payments.


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