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Messi Is Officially The Highest Paid Footballer

Cristiano Ronaldo may be the most popular soccer player in the world, but he's not the highest paid. That would be Lionel Messi.

The FC Barcelona star made $71 million in 2014, which is far ahead of Ronaldo who made "only"  $59 million last year. That's kind of shocking, considering Ronaldo has endorsements with such companies as Coca-Cola and KFC. (Remember, this list tracks money made in 2014, not net worth - which we looked at in this article previously.)

Another interesting aspect of this list is that not a single American, from any of the major soccer leagues including the Premier League and MLS, made it. Maybe not too surprising considering the fact that the highest paid American athletes play in the NFL, Major League Baseball and the NBA. As the popularity of soccer grows in the United States, so too will the salaries.

Here is the list of the top 10 highest paid soccer players in 2014.

  1. Lional Messi, FC Barcelona (Spain) — $71 million (€65 million)

  2. Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid (Spain) — $59 million (€54 million)

  3. Neymar Jr, FC Barcelona (Spain) — $40.0 million (€36.5 million)

  4. Thiago Silva, Paris Saint-Germain (France) — $30.1 million (€27.5 million)

  5. Robin Van Persie, Manchester United (England) — $28.1 million (€25.6 million)

  6. Gareth Bale, Real Madrid (Spain) — $26.1 million (€23.8 million)

  7. Wayne Rooney, Manchester United (England) — $24.7 million (€22.5 million)

  8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paris Saint-Germain (France) — $23.6 million (€21.5 million)

  9. Sergio Agüero, Manchester City (England) — $23.3 million (€21.2 million)

  10. Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich (Germany) — $22.2 million (€20.2 million)

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