Top two football stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are still the joint highest paid players in world football, according to reports.
The pair of Ronaldo and Messi take home £365,000 in weekly wages after tax. That sums up to £19 million in annual payments. The Spanish income tax rate that players pay is c.45% meaning Real Madrid are forking out as much as £32.7 million annually to keep Bale to the Santiago Bernabeu. When extrapolated, it means the duo of Messi and Ronaldo earn £34.5 million per year. Reports say Real Madrid put the official price tag of the Bale around £18 million, but it is definitely a bit higher based on calculations.
In England, Manchester United summer marquee signing, Paul Pogba remains the highest paid. The France international earns a whopping £290,000 weekly – summing up to £15 million annually. He places fifth on a world scale as Brazilian star Hulk is ahead of him. Hulk earns £16.5 million annually playing for Shanghai SIPG. After Pogba is another Brazilian, Neymar. The Olympics gold medalist takes about £15 million per year.
United and Three Lions skipper Wayne Rooney is tied with Italy international Graziano Pelle in seventh place. They both earn about £13.5 million yearly. Another United star Zlatan Ibrahimovic places next with annual payments totaling £13 million. Manchester City stars Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure make the top ten list with annual wages around £12.5 million.Tags: Cristiano, Levante, Madrid, Real, Ronaldo