The Biggest Football Contracts of All Time
With the most recent investments into the game the price of players contracts are once again starting to soar. Take a look below to find out more on the current top ten earners in world football and their seasons rates. (Warning: you may be surprised by some of the names on the list.)
10. Cristiano Ronaldo (€10 million)
The Portuguese forward earns a hefty sum at Real Madrid, but he only just cracks our top ten list. Ronaldo came to prominence in the Sporting Lisbon youth team, where an exceptional performance in a friendly against Manchester United earned him a transfer to the English club. After a rocky beginning in England, Ronaldo developed his game and led the side to three English Premier League titles, two League Cups, one UEFA Champions League trophy and the Club World Championship. Success has followed him to Real Madrid, where he won La Liga last season.
9. Lionel Messi (€10.5 million)
He is widely considered the best player in the world, yet Messi is only ninth on this list. He is Barcelona’s most dangerous player, often being their sole threat on goal. Messi broke the record for most goals scored in a calendar year in 2012. He has already won three UEFA Champions League crowns, along with winning the Ballon d’Or on four occasions.
8. Dario Conca, Guangzhou Evergrande (€10.6 million)
Conca is an Argentine international who plies his trade in China’s major league. This contract is a massive surprise, given the fact that Conca is not among the world’s elite players.
7. Fernando Torres, Chelsea (€10.8 million)
Along with paying £50 million to Liverpool, Chelsea gave Fernando Torres a bumper contract. Unfortunately, he has rarely showed the quality to justify such a financial expense. He has struggled to recapture his Liverpool form and is likely to be sold this summer.
6. Didier Drogba, Shanghai Shenhua (€12 million)
Ironically, Drogba is the man Torres was signed to replace at Chelsea. The Ivorian moved to China where he was on a handsome contract for half a season. Unfortunately, financial problems meant the cancellation of the deal allowing Drogba to move to Turkish giants Galatasaray, with employment lawyers now likely to get involved.
5. Sergio Aguero, Manchester City (€12.5 million)
Despite failure in the UEFA Champions League for two consecutive seasons, Aguero led City to last season’s Premier League title. More will be expected in future seasons from the Argentine star.
4. Yaya Toure, Manchester City (€13 million)
From Barcelona’s reserves to Manchester City’s first team, Yaya Toure made a massive jump when he left Spain. Not only did he earn a starting spot, but he got one of the best football contracts in history. His performances have lived up to the billing as he is often City’s best player.
3. Wayne Rooney, Manchester United (€13.8 million)
A summer after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, United faced the possibility of Rooney leaving too. Instead, he was coaxed into staying by the manager and was rewarded with the third highest football contract. He has won four Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League at Old Trafford.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG (€14.5 million)
Ibra continued his nomadic club journey to PSG this summer, signing a massive contract with the French giants. He will be the spearhead of their bid to dominate European football.
1. Samuel Eto’o, Anzhi Makhachkala (€20 million)
Why would a footballer leave Inter Milan (European champions at the time) for Russian football? The answer is €20 million euros a season and the largest contract ever given to a football player.
Jamie Stevenson is an avid copywriter who writes for a variety of websites, including specialist employment solicitors Slater & Gordon.