Top two football stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are still the joint highest paid players in world football, according to reports.
Gareth Bale extended his deal with Real Madrid, yet the Welsh superstar is not the highest paid footballer as many would expect. The former Spurs player signed a deal worth a stunning £346,000 per week after tax. The deal would mean he gets a staggering £108 million over the next six years as agreed.
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.