We’ve all heard about the astounding wages that soccer players can take home. But most of the time, we are probably thinking about the biggest and most esteemed players in the world, such as Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Salah and Pogba.
These players are literally at the top of their game, and so their wages are astronomical. But this is not always the case for all professional soccer players. If you are wondering what soccer players actually make, then you are in the right place.
With this guide we will look at how much a professional soccer player makes in a variety of different soccer leagues, to help you understand their normal salaries.
How much does a professional soccer player make?
How much a professional soccer player makes will depend on a variety of different factors. These include the player themselves, the team they play for, the league they participate in, and how many endorsements that they have.
The biggest soccer stars such as Messi and Ronaldo may have the highest salaries, with Lionel Messi earning around $126 million a year, and Cristiano Ronaldo earning around $117 million a year.
However, in Messi’s case, he will earn about $92 million from his salary, and about $34 million in endorsement and advertising deals. Clearly, it pays to be one of the most successful soccer players in the world!
However, keep in mind that this is just one end of the scale, and this is not strictly the norm. Most professional soccer players will earn only a fraction of what these players earn in a week!
It can be hard to decipher exactly what money a professional soccer player will make, because they are all different, with their own sets of skills and techniques for different teams.
Factors such as performance make a difference, along with goal scoring bonuses, promotions, negotiated contracts, clean sheets and who the player is when deciding what they will actually earn.
Which league they play in, along with the tax system they are part of will also determine how much money they make, in addition to the deal that they get when they become part of a team.
That being said, we can find the average amount of money or salary that professional soccer players make by looking at how much money a professional soccer player makes in various different football leagues.
The Championship (English)
The Sky Bet Championship is a very profitable soccer league. The Championship draws a lot of viewers and has lots of TV rights and profitable deals to show the live matches, and as such, players can be paid very well.
The average weekly wage across this division is about £7,500 to £9,000, whereas the bigger professional players can earn up to around £80,000. This is much more than the average player in the top divisions in other European countries!
In addition, teams can also receive what is called parachute payments of around £40 million per year if they are relegated from the Premier League.
However, keep in mind that more renowned players can earn much more than the average.
On the other hand, the average wages of professional soccer players in this league can also decrease dramatically the further down the leaderboard and league you go.
For example, in League One, players can earn on average between £1,700 to £2,500 per week, whereas in League Two this becomes £1,200 to £1,500 per week.
The Premier League (English)
The Premier League is known as the English league, and is actually one of the highest earning leagues in the entire world.
As it is so vastly popular with soccer fans, the Premier League is shown on TV, and therefore has a huge TV broadcasting rights and packages across the globe. Hence, the massive salaries that the Premier League has to offer.
This has attracted seasoned professional soccer players to teams in the Premier League, such as Rui Patricio and Andre Schurrle. For instance, Gareth Bale is currently on loan to Tottenham Hotspur F.C. and earns a huge £600,000 a week!
These massive soccer stars can even begin joining lower ranking clubs around the UK and Europe, due to the massive wages that the Premier League is willing and able to offer them.
The vast amount of money invested in the Premier League means that these teams can attract players with astounding salaries and contracts.
So, how much exactly does the average professional soccer player earn in the Premier League?
Well, according to the Professional Footballers Association (UK), in the Premier League, the average salary for a professional soccer player would be around £50,000 a week. To put that number into perspective, that is about £2,600,000 a year!
However, you should remember that this number is an average, that can be pushed up massively by those big players that earn the whopping wages, and most professional players will probably be earning much less than this a year.
In some of the lower ranking teams, the players may earn around £14,000 to £20,000 a week, whereas the bigger teams such as Manchester United have players like Alexis Sanchez, who takes home £350,000 a week, along with a £75,000 bonus for playing a game. Not bad!
In addition, Paul Pogba is also one of the frontrunners with a huge salary of £290,000 per week, followed closely by David De Gea with £200,000 per week.
When you consider that the average UK salary per year for full time employees is about £35,000, you can really understand the amount of money invested in the Premier League, and in its players.
La Liga (Spanish)
La Liga is the name of the Spanish soccer league. This league is home to famous teams such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid.
There are still lower, lesser known teams such as Rayo Vallecano, which cannot afford to pay the wages that their higher earning counterparts do.
This is why there is such a stark difference and discrepancy between what players earn in La Liga, as the teams at the top and the bottom of the league are in such a stark contrast when it comes to success and profits.
In a team such as Real Madrid, Gareth Bale would earn around €400,000 per week, along with Sergio Ramos raking in €200,000 per week.
Similarly, in the Barcelona teams, you can expect much higher salaries than other La Liga teams, with Lionel Messi taking home an astronomical salary of €655,000 a week!
On the other hand, at the lower end of the leaderboard, and teams in the bottom of the table, such as Huesca, players may earn much less than €10,000 per week.
In a similar way, Rayo Vallecano can afford to pay four of their players a little more than €10,000 a week, and still have their whole team roster being paid €177,000 per week in total, which is still a lot less than just one player, such as Ramos, who gets paid more than that a week by playing for Barcelona!
Serie A (Italian)
The Italian League used to be the frontrunner before the Premier League was. Players from all over the world wanted to play in the Italian league for its incredible wages and benefits. This put teams such as Juventus and AC Milan at the top of its game.
Juventus still continue to dominate the league, winning countless titles and also having Cristiano Ronaldo as one of their best players.
Now, Cristiano Ronaldo is without a doubt one of the top earners in the league, if not the top earner, and highest paid professional soccer player there.
According to L’Equipe, Cristiano Ronaldo recently earned £900,000 in his weekly wage packet playing for Juventus, which is around £46.7 million a year!
Being one of the biggest and most successful teams in the league, Juventus players take home on average around €50,000 per week.
A recent exchange means that Aaron Ramsay now plays for Juventus, in a deal that states he earns €400,000 per week in wages.
However, you have to keep in mind that Juventus is one of, if not the highest paying team in the Italian league, and so the average salary of other players may be much lower.
For instance, in teams lower in the league, you can expect professional soccer players to be paid around €10,000 to €13,000 per week or even less.
If we look at the players across the league, then obviously the average salary a year is dragged up much higher because of players like Ramsay and Ronaldo, and so the average annual salary is about a staggering £1.33 million.
Yet, this is still less than half of what the average professional soccer players in the Premier League earn in a year!
If these comparisons are anything to go by, then the average salary of professional soccer players are very different.
Depending on the league they are playing in, the team that they play for, and the skill, expertise and endorsements that the players have, wages will vary much more.
Some of the most well known, respected and renowned professional players at the top of the leagues will be paid hundreds of thousands every single week, and that is without advertising, endorsements and bonuses on top, whereas professional players lower in the league can be paid less than £10,000 per week.
It is clear that the bigger the name, the bigger the team, and the bigger the league, the more money it can command.
With a league such as the Premier League, players can expect to be paid much more due to the influx of money and profits in the league itself. The stakes are higher, and so are the wages.
In addition, if you are a well known player such as the likes of Messi, Ramos and Ronaldo, then you can demand and negotiate a much higher salary.
As the teams and the leagues become less profitable, the average salary becomes much lower and not so excessive.
However, you could argue that anyone that gets paid to play a sport that they enjoy, or are passionate about, are laughing all the way to the bank anyways!