Football is one of the most watched sports internationally. And it has therefore attracted major financing and commercialization in the recent decade. The commercialization of football has received hybrid reaction from the fans globally. They can now watch and enjoy diverse international talent of different leagues; the new change has also kicked in massive signings and enormous salaries of football player. Though some critics have raised finger saying that the footballers are not worth the money or are overly paid but it is hard to deny the enchantment attached with their brilliant football skills, fame and wealth. Let us look at the top 5 highest paid footballers of 2014.
1.) Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid
Real Madrid’s superstar Cristiano Ronaldo tops the list of the highest earning footballer of the year. The Portuguese skipper is undoubtedly one of the best in his position in the football world. Ronaldo created headlines as he became one of the expensive in world when he moved to Real Madrid from Manchester United in 2009. Cristiano has performed brilliantly since the move and has shown exceptional performances which includes 69 goals in 59 matches for both country and club which made him the winner of 2013 Ballon d’or. Cristiano recently signed a 5 year contract with Real Madrid worth $206 million; he also has some extensive sponsorships contracts with several companies like Armani, Castrol, Nike, Emirates. Ronaldo was most recently appointed the brand ambassador of Swiss watch manufacturers TAG Heuer and underwear label CR7.
|80 Million USD||52 Million USD||28 Million USD|
2.) Lionel Messi – Barcelona
Argentinian international Lionel Messi plays for Spanish club Barcelona. The 4 times Ballon d’or winner is on the second position of highest earning footballer of 2014 as he has signed some major deals with Adidas, Audermars Piguet and Turkish Airlines. Moreover Messi recently signed a new contract with Barcelona which claimed in the hike of the Argentinian salary.
|64.7 Million USD||41.7 Million USD||23 Million USD|
3.) Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Paris Saint-Germain
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is on the 3 position of the highest earning footballer of 2014. The Swedish international plays as attacker for French Ligue 1 side Paris Saint – Germain and is the current skipper of the National side. Ibrahimovic was recently awarded a year extension to his contract at PSG and is credited to be one of the strongest footballers in the world. He was also player of the year 2013 for PSG and scored 30 goals for French side in the season making him the only player after 20 years to do so.
|40.4 Million USD||36.4 Million USD||4 Million USD|
4.) Gareth Bale – Real Madrid
Wales international Gareth Bale plays for Spanish giants Real Madrid. Bale started his career at Southampton and later moved to Tottenham were he showed his brilliant skills and pace which attracted many clubs towards him. Real Madrid made a sensation last year in September when they bought Bale from Tottenham by spending $118 Million making it one of the highest paid transfers of all time. And with deals with EA Sports, Lucozade and sports brand Adidas, Gareth Bale stands on the 4th position of the highest earning footballer of 2014.
|36.4 Million USD||25.4 Million USD||11 Million USD|
5.) Radamel Falcao – Manchester United
Radamel Falcao is a Colombian footballer who plays for AS Manaco and is currently on loan to Manchester United. The 28 year old Colombian plays as an attacking player for both club and national team. Before moving to Monaco he had a successful term with Atletico Madrid and scored 34 goals in one season. Falcao signed a 5 year deal with AS Manaco which doubled his salary and made him the 5th highest earning footballer of the year.
|35.4 Million USD||32.4 Million USD||3 Million USD|