With football fever spreading thanks to the World Cup, the players are rightfully in the spotlight. But that bright light widens enough to shine on the incredible amounts of money flowing through global football, too.
For the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, FIFA, football’s global governing body, reported revenue of $4.8 billion. Its profit for that four-year cycle: $2.6 billion. And that just covers the international competition.
In 2018, FIFA will award $400 million to the 32 teams in the World Cup, with the winning team earning $38 million. Some of that money will trickle down to the players. However, most players make the bulk of their money outside of their national teams.
Pinning down exact income can be tricky. Generally, players earn salaries and bonuses from their club teams and from team performance, and they often earn money from endorsements. There are, however, gray areas in terms of salary reporting. Final numbers can be unclear, as can bonuses. The figures here also dependent on currency conversion rates at the time of publication.
This list is based on the best available information from Forbes and other sources surrounding some of the world’s best football players, and how much they’re being paid in salary and bonuses in 2018.