Saturday, April 28, 2012
At the beginning of April I posted an article on 'The World's Highest Paid Football Managers.'
Today I am going to focus on 'The World's Highest Paid Football Players.'
The last couple of years have been massive in the world of football sponsorships, with high profile players understandably benefiting the most, as brands from both inside and outside the world of football bankroll the top stars in the run up to the European Championships and the London Olympics this summer.
Mega-bucks clubs like Manchester City and Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala are doing multi-million pound deals in the pursuit of glory. Some ten years or so ago the average footballers pay in the UK was about five times that of the average weekly wage of the man in the street. Today however the football world is giving millions of pounds to the elite players, and their wages are literally going off the richter scale!
While some saw the abolition of football's maximum wage, which had capped players' pay at £20 a week, as a defining moment in the game's history, others view the 18th January 1961, as the day football - and, more importantly, footballers - began to lose touch with reality. The wages spiral did not immediately follow the abolition of the maximum wage. It was only when stars such as Denis Law and Jimmy Greaves left to play in Italy for bigger salaries in the summer of 1961 that the clubs realised they were going to have to pay out for top talent.
By the end of the decade, George Best was earning £1,000 a week at United The real explosion in players' pay came about in 1992 when the Premier League was founded and Sky TV coverage was launched. Liverpool's John Barnes was then the highest-paid player in the country at the time - on £10,000 a week. A decade later, wages escalated dramatically, partly as a result of the introduction of the Bosman ruling, which allowed players to move for free at the end of their contracts. It was at this time that we saw the first £100,000 a week footballer.
Some say it has gone way too far now, with players in 90 per cent of football clubs being paid far more than their clubs can afford.
In 1980 the average weekly wage in the UK was: £124.
In 1980 the average weekly pay for a player in the top flight was: £550.
In 1990 the average weekly wage in the UK was: £295.
In 1990 the average weekly pay for a player in the top flight was: £1500.
In 2000 the average weekly wage in the UK was: £473.
In 2000 the average weekly pay for a player in the top flight was: £11,184.
In 2010 the average weekly wage in the UK was: £656.
In 2010 the average weekly pay for a player in the top flight was: £33,868.
While Bill Shankly built a Liverpool team in 1960 on a total wage bill of £517 a week, Manchester City have committed £500million to salaries in their bid for Premier League glory.
There is a staggering gap between what top players earn and what the average person gets and the relationship between players and the public really isn't that great any more.
The fans aren't stupid and they see too many 'average millionaires.' They will forgive players and the money if they feel that they really earn it, both on and off the pitch, but too many of them don't. Some players can't even be bothered to take their headphones off or give the fans an autograph when they're getting off the team coach.
Here is an up-to-date list of: 'The Top 10 Highest-Paid Footballers in the World.'
10/ Philip Lahm - FC Bayern Munich and Germany, £11.9m per annum.
Born: 11th November 1983 (age 28)
Previous clubs: Bayern Munich II, VfB Stuttgart (loan)
Bundesliga: 2002–03, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2009–10, DFB-Pokal: 2002–03, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2009–10,
FIFA World Cup Third Place: 2006, 2010, UEFA European Football Championship Runner-up: 2008, UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship Runner-up: 2002.
UEFA Team of the Year: 2006, 2008, FIFA Team of the Year: 2008
Captain of the German national side, Lahm’s renewed deal with his Bavarian club has had a year to mature, putting him amongst the world’s highest earners for the first time. He has also inked a lucrative deal to wear adidas football boots.
9/ Kaká - Real Madrid and Brazil, £12.9m per annum.
Born: 22nd April 1982 (age 30)
Previous clubs: São Paulo, AC Milan
Serie A: 2003–04, UEFA Champions League: 2006–07, UEFA Super Cup: 2003, 2007, FIFA Club World Cup: 2007.
Copa del Rey: 2010–11
FIFA World Cup: 2002, FIFA Confederations Cup: 2005, 2009
FIFA World Player of the Year: 2007, World Soccer Player of the Year: 2007, Serie A Footballer of the Year: 2004, 2007, UEFA Champions League Top Scorer: 2006–07,
As well as a 'healthy' contract with Spanish giants Real Madrid, Kaka’s clean cut image have helped him keep his finances among the highest in world football, as deals with adidas and EA Sports supplement his Los Blancos paycheque. It's interesting to note that the 30 year-old's 'on-field performances' have been a little inconsistent of late, which has meant that the Brazilian midfielder is actually earning around £2m less than this time last year.
8/ Fernando Torres - Chelsea and Spain, £13.9m per annum.
Born: 20th March 1984 (age 28)
Previous clubs: Atlético Madrid, Liverpool
Segunda División: 2001-02
FIFA World Cup Winner: 2010, UEFA European Championship: 2008, UEFA European Under-16 Football Championship (1): 2001, UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship: 2002
Despite his well-documented troubles since his move to Stamford Bridge, Spanish striker Torres’ deal that took him from Merseyside to London with Chelsea has propelled him into the Top 10 highest-paid footballers for the first time in his career.
Addition spending money comes from the likes of Pepsi and Nike, who will hope that their investment can force his way back into the Spain squad in time for Euro 2012.
7/ Yaya Touré - Manchester City and Ivory Coast, £14.7m per annum.
Born: 13th May 1983 (age 28)
Previous clubs: Beveren, Metalurh Donetsk, Olympiacos, Monaco, Barcelona
Super League Greece: 2005–06, Greek Cup: 2005–06
La Liga: 2008–09, 2009–10, Copa del Rey: 2008–09, Supercopa de España: 2009, UEFA Champions League: 2008–09, UEFA Super Cup: 2009, FIFA Club World Cup: 2009
FA Cup: 2010–11
African Footballer of the Year: 2011
Another player to benefit from a new deal at a new club is Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure. The 2011 African footballer of the year has become a key member of the City squad since his move from Barcelona, and it’s worth noting he donates his sponsorship money from his Puma boot deal to charity.
6/ Sergio Agüero - Manchester City and Argentina, £15.7m per annum.
Born: 2nd June 1988 (age 23)
Previous clubs: Club Atlético Independiente, Atlético Madrid
UEFA Europa League: 2009–10, UEFA Super Cup: 2010
FIFA U-20 World Cup winner: 2005, 2007, Summer Olympics: 2008
FIFA Young Player of the Year: 2007, FIFA U-20 World Cup Top Scorer (1): 2007, FIFA U-20 World Cup Player of the Tournament: 2007, La Liga Ibero-American Player of the Year: 2008, Don Balón Award: 2007–08
It’s a similar story for Toure’s team-mate and fellow Puma sponsor-ee Sergio Aguero. The Argentine striker has quickly proven his worth at the Etihad Stadium – with 29 goals to date in all competitions this season, for the blue half of Manchester. He has switched his boot supplier to Puma following a protracted move from Nike.
5/ Wayne Rooney - Manchester United and England, £17.2m per annum.
Born: 24th October 1985 (age 26)
Previous clubs: Everton
Premier League: 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11, Football League Cup: 2005–06, 2009–10, UEFA Champions League: 2007–08, FIFA Club World Cup: 2008
PFA Players' Player of the Year: 2009–10, PFA Young Player of the Year: 2004–05, 2005–06, FWA Footballer of the Year: 2009–10, Goal of the Season: 2004–05, 2006–07, 2010–11, Barclays Player of the Year: 2009–10, England Player of the Year: 2008, 2009
Despite often being at the centre of controversy, Manchester United hitman Wayne Rooney has boosted his earnings by nearly £5m over the past 12 months to enter the top 5 highest-paid footballers for the first time in his career. Rooney's ban for the opening two group games of Euro 2012 will have no doubt upset his sponsors somewhat, but the likes of Nike and EA Sports will be thrilled with his performances on the field for the Red Devils this season. He has netted 36 goals to date in all competitions.
4/ Samuel Eto’o - FC Anzhi Makhachkala and Cameroon, £19.4m per annum.
Born: 10th March 1981 (age 31)
Previous clubs: Real Madrid, Leganés (loan), Espanyol (loan), RCD Mallorca, Barcelona, Internazionale Milano
Copa del Rey: 2003
La Liga: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, Copa del Rey: 2009, UEFA Champions League: 2005–06, 2008–09
Internazionale: Serie A: 2009–10, Coppa Italia: 2010, 2011, Supercoppa Italiana: 2010, UEFA Champions League: 2009–10, FIFA Club World Cup: 2010
African Cup of Nations: 2000, 2002, Olympic Gold Medal: 2000
Young African Player of the Year: 2000, African Player of the Year: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2010, African Cup of Nations Top Scorer: 2006, 2008, African Cup of Nations All-Time Top Scorer, La Liga Top Scorer: 2006, 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year- Third, UEFA Champions League Final Man of the Match 2006
The most decorated African player of all time,Samuel Eto’o has won the African player of the year four times. With a move last year to Russian club FC Anzhi Makhachkala, Eto’o became the highest paid footballer of all time. Adding to that the Cameroon international can boast Ford and Puma to his sponsorship list in the last 12 months.
3/ Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid and Portugal, £24.3m per annum.
Born: 5th February 1985 (age 27)
Previous clubs: Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United
Premier League: 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, FA Cup: 2003–04, League Cup: 2005–06, 2008–09, UEFA Champions League: 2007–08, FIFA Club World Cup: 2008
Copa del Rey: 2010–11
Portuguese Footballer of the Year: 2006–07, PFA Young Player of the Year: 2006–07, PFA Players' Player of the Year: 2006–07, 2007–08, FWA Footballer of the Year: 2006–07, 2007–08, Barclays Player of the Year: 2006–07, 2007–08, Premier League Golden Boot: 2007–08, UEFA Champions League Top scorer: 2007–08, UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 2007–08, FIFA Club World Cup Silver Ball: 2008, Ballon d'Or (1): 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year: 2008, World Soccer Player of the Year: 2008 FIFA Puskás Award: 2009, Copa del Rey top goalscorer: 2010–11, La Liga top scorer: 2010–11
The Portuguese playmaker and national squad captain Cristiano Ronaldo has bolstered his annual earnings by over £1.5m since this time last year. As well as being officially the most expensive player in the world, the superstar’s deal to keep him in Nike Mercurial football boots is reportedly one of the biggest in sport. Throw in his status as the most socially-networked athlete in the world, and due to this popularity Ronaldo has also secured sponsorship deals from brands like Armani, Coca-Cola and Castrol. He is a priceless face for any company!
2/ David Beckham - Los Angeles Galaxy and England, £26.2m per annum.
Born: 2nd May 1975 (age 36)
Previous clubs: Manchester United, Preston North End (loan), Real Madrid, AC Milan (loan)
Premier League: 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, FA Cup: 1995–96, 1998–99, UEFA Champions League: 1998–99
La Liga: 2006–07, Supercopa de España: 2003
Los Angeles Galaxy:
MLS Supporters' Shield: 2010, 2011, MLS Cup: 2011
PFA Young Player of the Year: 1996–97, UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 1998–99, Premier League Goal of the Decade, England Player of the Year: 2003, Real Madrid Player of the Year: 2005-2006, English Football Hall of Fame: 2008, Officer in the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II: 2003
After much pontification over the MLS off-season, Beckham turned down a potentially massive move to top French side Paris Saint-Germain, in favour of staying with the LA Galaxy for at least one more season. The former England captain’s new deal with the Galaxy and his hugely-marketed underwear deal with highstreet fashion label H&M, saw him earn over £2m more per annum than in the previous financial year.
Also his deal with adidas is the biggest deal in the footballing world, and part of that deal sees him earn 'bonus' money for every signed boot that the company sells. Adding to that his sponsorship deals with Samsung, who made him their company brand ambassador, and Pepsi make Becks the 2nd highest paid footballer on the list.
1/ Lionel Messi - Barcelona and Argentina, £27.5m per annum.
Born: 24th June 1987 (age 24)
Previous clubs: Club Atlético Newell's Old Boys
La Liga: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, Copa del Rey: 2008–09, Supercopa de España: 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, UEFA Champions League: 2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11, UEFA Super Cup: 2009, 2011, FIFA Club World Cup: 2009, 2011
FIFA U-20 World Cup: 2005, Olympic Gold Medal: 2008
FIFA Ballon d'Or: 2010, 2011, World's Top Goal Scorer of the Year 2011, Ballon d'Or: 2009, FIFA World Player of the Year: 2009, World Soccer Player of the Year: 2009, 2011, World Soccer Young Player of the Year: 2006, 2007, 2008, La Liga top goalscorer: 2010, Copa del Rey top goalscorer: 2011, La Liga Player of the Year: 2009, 2010, 2011, La Liga Foreign Player of the Year: 2007, 2009, 2010, UEFA Champions League top goalscorer: 2009, 2010, 2011, European Golden Shoe 2010, UEFA Best Player in Europe Award: 2011, UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 2009, FIFA U-20 World Cup Player of the Tournament: 2005, FIFA U-20 World Cup top goalscorer: 2005, Copa América Young Player of the Tournament: 2007
After a record-breaking last 12 months, the mercurial Messi’s earnings are now as superfluous as the words used to describe him. A signature clothing range with adidas and a deal to see him become the cover star for EA Sports games from this season onward has seen the Barca ace add nearly £8m to his earnings over the past 12 months. He also boasts sponsorship deals with adidas, Konami, PepsiCo, Lay’s, Air Europa and Chery. Should his history-making form continue, it’s likely that we’ll see that figure continue to rise – over the next 12 months.