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The 18 Richest Footballers In The World

If only all of us could live like the highest paid athletes in the world.

To put things in perspective, in 2014 the 20 highest paid athletes across all sports earned a whopping $1 billion dollars in salaries plus endorsements. That's $50 million dollars earned by each and every athlete on the Top 20 list from Forbes - or, in case you really wanted to feel really depressed about your hourly wage, over $5,000 per hour for every single hour of 2014. That's right, even when he was sleeping like a well-tanned, well-coiffed, ridiculously good-looking baby, Cristiano Ronaldo was earning more in an hour than you do in several weeks. Hurts, doesn't it?

Even within sports, there are winners and losers. And it turns out association football (soccer to us Yanks) takes top honors in terms of earnings.

To illustrate the point, we took the Top 20 highest paid athletes in the world from Forbes and broke the list out by sport. Turns out, soccer players on the list earned almost $90 million more than players from the next closest sport, basketball, and almost 4x what American football players on the Top 20 list earned. Behold:

Earnings Breakdown By Sport Of Top 20 Highest Paid Athletes

Source: Forbes 2014 List Of Highest Paid Athletes


With this in mind, we thought it would be interesting to profile the 18 richest soccer players in the world as of the start of 2015. For the purposes of this list (with data thanks to, "richest" is defined as the sum of salaries, endorsements, assets and other business interests. The position of some players on the list may come as a surprise, but the final three players are everything you would expect:

#18: Gerard Pique 

  • Net Worth: $65 Million 
  • Club/Country: Barcelona / Spain 
  • Endorsements: Nike, Mango Clothes, Bas Alimentaria (Catalan meat company) 
  • Fun Fact: If you added his wife Shakira’s earnings he would vault to number one on the list. 

Photo: @wearemessi | Twitter)

#17: Francesco Totti

  • Net Worth: $67 Million 
  • Club/Country: Roma AS / Italy 
  • Endorsements: Nike, Pepsi, Party Poker, Numberten  
  • Fun Fact: Francesco Totti lost his virginity at the age of 12. 

Photo:@GOAL_ID | Twitter

#16: Frank Ribery 

  • Net Worth: $68 Million 
  • Club/ Country: Bayern Munich / France 
  • Endorsements: Nike 
  • Fun Fact: Ribery suffered a serious car accident when he was a baby, leaving a 5 inch scar down his face.

Photo:@goalpostsuk | Twitter 


#15: Yaya Toure 

  • Net Worth: $70 Million 
  • Club/ Country: Manchester City / Côte d'Ivoire 
  • Endorsements: Puma, Nissan 
  • Fun Fact: Toure didn’t get his first pair of football boots until he was 10 years old. 

Photo:@premierleague | Twitter 

#14: Steven Gerrard 

  • Net Worth: $74 Million  
  • Club/ Country: Liverpool / England 
  • Endorsements: Adidas, Lucozade, Jaguar 
  • Fun Fact: Stevie’s idols growing up were John Barnes and Peter Beardsley.

Photo:@farrdil | Twitter 

#13: Gianluigi Buffon 

  • Net Worth: $76 Million 
  • Club/ Country: Juventus / Italy 
  • Endorsements: Zucchi, Pepsi, Puma, Fiat 
  • Fun Fact: Gigi has served as the starting keeper for Italy in four straight World Cups. 

Photo: @sedangkan | Twitter

#12: Rio Ferdinand 

  • Net Worth: $81 Million 
  • Club/ Country: Queens Park Rangers / England 
  • Endorsements: Nike, BT Sport, Jaguar 
  • Fun Fact: Ferdinand created a record label called “White Chalk Music.”

Photo: @CasinoFloorUK | Twitter 


#11: Bastian Schweinsteiger 

  • Net Worth: $84 Million 
  • Club/ Country: Bayern Munich / Germany 
  • Endorsements: Adidas, Audi, Right Guard, Nivea, Beats by Dre.
  • Fun Fact: Schweinsteiger was a talented skier in his younger days and had to choose which sport to pursue. 

Photo: @Perfect1DBieber | Twitter 

#10: Frank Lampard 

  • Net Worth: $90 Million 
  • Club/ Country: New York FC / England 
  • Endorsements: Adidas, Pepsi 
  • Fun Fact: He is married to English TV personality Christine Bleakley.

Photo: @Independent | Twitter 

#9: Ronaldinho 

  • Net Worth: $93 Million
  • Club/ Country: Queretaro / Brasil 
  • Endorsements: Nike, Pepsi 
  • Fun Fact: He joined the United Nations to educate the public about AIDS in 2011, and later launched his own line of condoms named "Sex Free."

Photo: @br_uk | Twitter 

#8: Raul 

  • Net Worth:$95 Million 
  • Club/ Country: New York Cosmos / Spain 
  • Endorsements: Scar Sport Europe, Cadmus Energy Company
  • Fun Fact: His hobbies include reading, video games and hunting. 

Photo:@PeeWeeWiggly | Twitter 

#7: Samuel Eto’o

  • Net Worth: $98 Million  
  • Club/ Country: Sampdoria/ Cameroon 
  • Endorsements: Puma, Ford 
  • Fun Fact: Eto’o once had up to 400 mobile phones scattered around various homes across the world. 

Photo: @spherasports | Twitter 

#6: Kaka 

  • Net Worth: $108 Million 
  • Club/ Country: Orlando / Brazil 
  • Endorsements: Pesi, Adidas, Samsung, Gillette, Armani 
  • Fun Fact: He got his nickname because his younger brother couldn’t say his real name “Ricardo,” so he called him “caca” which evolved into Kaka. 

Photo: @getaukbookie | Twitter 

#5: Wayne Rooney 

  • Net Worth:$116 Million  
  • Club/ Country: Manchester United / England 
  • Endorsements: Nike, Samsung, Harper Collins 
  • Fun Fact: He met his future wife, Coleen, when he was 12 years old.

Photo: @premierleague | Twitter 


#4: Zlatan Ibrahimovic 

  • Net Worth: $118 Million 
  • Club/ Country: Paris Saint Germain / Sweden 
  • Endorsements: Nivea, Xbox, Volvo, Dressman, Nike 
  • Fun Fact: He once had 50 names tattooed on his body of people who are suffering from hunger. 

Photo: @SportsJOEdotie | Twitter 

#3: Neymar 

  • Net Worth: $152 Million 
  • Club/ Country: Barcelona / Brazil 
  • Endorsements: Nike, Panasonic, Claro, Red Bull, Lupo, Heliar 
  • Fun Fact: Neymar is the only Brazilian soccer player to have graced the cover of TIME magazine

Photo:@ESPNFC | Twitter 

#2: Lionel Messi 

  • Net Worth: $225 Million
  • Club/ Country: Barcelona / Argentina 
  • Endorsements: Adidas, EA Sports, Samsung, Lay’s, Gillette, Dolce & Gabbana, Head and Shoulders, Gatorade and Pan Bimbo. 
  • Fun Fact: Messi's first contract with Barcelona was detailed out on a paper napkin. 

Photo:@historiafutbole | Twitter 

#1: Cristiano Ronaldo 

  • Net Worth: $236 Million 
  • Club/ Country: Real Madrid / Portugal 
  • Endorsements: Nike, Toyota, Herbalife, Emirates, Castrol, Samsung, Soccerade, Emporio Armani, Banco Espirito Santo and KFC. 
  • Fun Fact: His father gave him the name Ronaldo because of Ronald Reagan.

Photo:@PepeRMCF | Twitter 

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