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So You Want To Be A Pro Footballer?

If you’re pondering the life of a professional, then you’re also probably wondering how soccer players get paid. Essentially, it’s dictated by the terms of the contract agreed to between the player and his or her club. Like most professions, wages are either paid on a semi-monthly (twice per month) or biweekly (every two weeks) basis.

However, as well as the earnings that players get from their annual contracts, there’s also added income through various bonuses (appearances, goals scored, trophies won), as well as image rights and other commercial endorsements. 

The pay you receive, of course, will be dictated by your abilities, your gender and where you ply your trade. For example, the minimum salary in Major League Soccer is $56,250 per year and the average player takes home $117,000 annually. The minimum salary in the National Women’s Soccer League is $16,538 and the maximum salary is $44,000.

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Conversely, the average salary enjoyed by a Premier League footballer is roughly $3.5 million per year. On average, an EPL footballer makes the most money, but the two clubs with the highest wage bills are located in Spain — Real Madrid and Barcelona.

There are also outliers in the Chinese Super League, where players like Oscar and Hulk (Shanghai SIPG), Graziano Pelle (Shandong Luneng), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Hebei China Fortune) and Marek Hamsik (Dalian Yifang) have landed some of the game’s biggest contracts. 

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If you like soccer but aren’t very good at it, consider the life of a player’s agent. Jorge Mendes, the man whose stable includes Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez, made over $100 million in commissions last year. Jonathan Barnett, who represents Gareth Bale, made $79.6 million.

If you like soccer but aren’t very good at it and are OK with being broke, consider writing about it. The average pay for a soccer writer is very little. 

How Soccer Players Get Paid: The Highest Monthly Earners In Europe 

#1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) | $9.5 million per month

#2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) | $5.3 million per month

#3. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid) | $3.7 million per month

#4. Neymar (PSG) | $3.5 million per month

#5. Luis Suarez (Barcelona) | $3.3 million per month

#6. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) | $2.8 million per month

#7. Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona) | $2.6 million per month

#8. Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United) | $2.28 million per month

#9. Kylian Mbappe (PSG) | $2 million per month

#10. Mesut Ozil (Arsenal) | $1.8 million per month

How Soccer Players Get Paid: The Highest Annual Earners In MLS

#1. Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) | $6.5 million per year

#2. Carlos Vela (LAFC) | $6.3 million per year

#3. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago) | $6.1 million per year

#4. Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC) | $5 million per year

#5. Ignacio Piatti (Montreal) | $4.7 million per year

#6. Wayne Rooney (DC United) | $2.8 million per year

#7. Tim Howard (Colorado) | $2.5 million per year

#8. Diego Valeri (Portland) | $2.4 million per year

#9. Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle) | $2.3 million per year

#10. Raul Ruidiaz (Seattle) | $2 million per year 

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