In Pics | World’s Highest-Paid Football Players (2023)

In Pics | World’s Highest-Paid Football Players (2023)

Football has always been a lucrative sport — and with the level of money that some of the world’s best players rake in, it’s no surprise why. In this blog post, we will be taking a look at some of the highest-paid footballers of 2023. From superstar strikers to record-breaking midfielders and defenders, find out who are the biggest earners in football right now!

Cristiano Ronaldo

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is the world’s highest-paid football player, earning an estimated $105 million in 2020. The Portuguese star has been a perennial favorite among fans and sponsors alike, thanks to his skill on the pitch and his good looks. Off the field, Ronaldo has also parlayed his celebrity into a successful business career, with deals with Nike, Herbalife, and others.

Lionel Messi

Messi, who is widely regarded as one of the best players of all time, has been in the top three for a while now. He first topped the list in 2013 and has since been dethroned by Ronaldo twice, in 2016 and 2017. The Argentine’s earnings are mostly derived from his hefty Barcelona salary and various endorsement deals.


Neymar is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a forward for French club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team. He is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world.

Neymar began his career with Santos, where he won two Campeonato Paulista championships, a Copa do Brasil, and the 2011 Copa Libertadores, among other honours. In 2013, he moved to Barcelona for €57.1 million, making him then-the third most expensive footballer in history. As part of Barcelona’s attacking trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez, Neymar helped the club win the treble in the 2014–15 season. He then moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 for a world record €222 million transfer fee, becoming both the most expensive player ever and the joint-highest paid footballer in history at that time.

With PSG, Neymar has won two Ligue 1 titles and was named Ligue 1 Player of the Year for 2017–18. He also helped them win their first Coupe de France title since 1994 (2016–17) and their first ever Coupe de la Ligue title (2017–18). He has been described as one of the best players in the world by many commentators and former players such as Pelé, Diego Maradona and Ronaldo Nazário.

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale is a Welsh professional footballer who plays as a winger for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Wales national team. He is one of the world’s highest-paid footballers and was ranked by Forbes in 2016 as the world’s second highest-paid athlete.

Born in Cardiff, Bale began his professional career at Southampton, before joining Tottenham Hotspur in 2007. During his time at Tottenham, Bale became renowned for his exceptional pace and dribbling ability, and earned acclaim for his outstanding performances both domestically and in European competition. In 2013, he transferred to Real Madrid for a then-world record transfer fee of £85.3 million (€100 million). 

Bale has been described by ESPN as “a complete footballer”, possessing “pace, power, finishing, dribbling skills, vision [and] physical strength”. He has also been lauded for his work ethic and discipline, with former Wales manager Gary Speed claiming that “he is one of the best pros I’ve ever worked with”. In 2015 he was awarded the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year. The following year he was inducted into the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame.

Luis Suarez

1. Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays as a striker for Spanish club Barcelona and the Uruguay national team. He is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world, and has won numerous individual awards, including the European Golden Shoe and the Pichichi Trophy.

In 2014, Suarez signed a five-year contract with Barcelona worth €82.3 million, making him one of the highest-paid footballers in the world. In 2015, he was named FIFA World Player of the Year, becoming only the second player from Uruguay to win the award.


It is clear from this list of the World’s Highest-Paid Football Players for 2023 that there is a lot of money to be made in professional football. Top players are able to leverage their fame and success into big paydays, but it takes a huge amount of hard work and sacrifice in order to reach those heights. It will be interesting to see which players make it onto the 2024 Highest-Paid Football Players list – we can’t wait!


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