Total wealth: $148 million
Neymar is the face of Brazilian soccer and one of the main cogs on a talented FC Barcelona team. His skills with the ball and flair for excellence on the pitch make him one of the most popular players in the sport. His annual salary, which stands at €8.8 million a year, is small potatoes compared to his overwhelming endorsement deals, which include agreements with the likes of Nike, Panasonic, Volkswagen, Red Bull, and many more. That’s not a bad haul for being only 23 years old.
2- Lionel Messi
Total wealth: $218 million
Lionel Messi is not only a magician on the soccer field, but he’s a businessman off it. His lucrative contract with Barcelona pays him $50 million a year, and he has tons of endorsement deals on his plate. Messi works with brands such as Adidas, Samsung, Gillette, Gatorade, and Dolce & Gabbana. He is arguably one of the two best soccer players in the world. If he keeps winning Ballon d’Or awards (he’s won four times), which goes to the FIFA World Player of the Year, he’ll surely continue increasing his overall wealth.
1- Christiano Ronaldo
It should come as no surprise that Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo tops this list. For anyone who follows the sport, Ronaldo is the absolute best of the best. He scores goals, dribbles with speed and force, and has sensational ball control.
Ronaldo’s deal with Real Madrid pays him a whopping €18.2 million per year, and that number doesn’t include bonuses. He also crushes it on the endorsement front, has his own clothing line (CR7), and owns a profitable property portfolio. Plus, people seem to find him easy on the eyes, so he’s got that going for him. It pays to be Cristiano Ronaldo.