The 17 Most Expensive Latino Soccer Players
Although major league soccer ranks fifth among the highest paying sports, three Latino soccer players ranked in the top ten of the current Forbes’ list of top earning athletes. They occupy the 2nd, 3rd and 5th spots. All three footballers ranked ahead of NBA mega star, Lebron James. It pays to be on top. Major league soccer players earn an average annual salary of about $1.6 million, but many Latino soccer players cost their teams far above that average. The following list ranks 17 of the most expensive Latino footballers.
#17 Proving His Worth
30-year-old Renato Augusto is a natural along the middle third. Two years on ago, Beijing Guoan paid a $9 million fee to secure his services. By posting 73 appearances and 18 goals, he has justified that expense and his annual $7.4 million salary.
#16 Happy Returns
After playing only one season with Barcelona, Paulinho re-joined Guangzhou Evergrande. The Chinese club has the option of purchasing the Brazilian midfielder next summer. In any event, his purchase price is expected to be much more than the $46 million Barcelona paid to acquire him. His present annual salary is $8 million.
#15 Another Chinese Super League Star
In early 2016, Chinese club Jiang Suning paid the $56.6 million transfer fee to acquire the services of Alex Teixeira. The attacking midfielder had a productive seven-year stint with Shakhtar Donetsk. He scored 89 goals and helped Shakhtar win five Ukrainian Premier wins. His current annual salary is $13.6 million.
#14 A Second Look
Jackson Martinez is presently on loan to Portimonense from Guangzhou Evergrande. Although he is contracted to the Chinese Super League club, the Porto striker hasn’t played a match for Guangzhou since 2016. This opportunity to play gives Martinez a second chance to regain his form and prove he is worthy of his $14.2 million a year salary.
#13 Ramires Santos do Nascimento
In 2016, the Chinese club Jiansu Suning signed Ramires to a four-year contract. The club paid a Chinese record of $31.8 million for this versatile midfielder. His annual salary is around $14.8 million.
#12 Happy in the Super League
Ezequiel Iván Lavezzi has certainly benefited from playing in the Chinese Super League. The winger/forward is a solid and skillful player. However, he would be hard pressed to earn his $15.9 million annual salary in some other region.
#11 Paid to Attack
In the 2017-18 season, Edinson Cavani was named the best attacking player in the history of Paris Saint-Germain. In 2012, the French club paid the $72.7 million transfer costs to acquire this player. His total annual revenue is $18 million.
#10 Romancing the Hulk
In 2016, Shanghai SIPG paid over $62 million to purchase Givanildo Vieira de Sousa ( aka, Hulk) from Zenit of the Russian Premier League. As a result, his yearly earnings of $22 million put him solidly in the top ten of this list. Hulk’s powerful scoring ways have served him well.
#9 Up In the Air
Midfielder James Rodriquez is currently on loan to FC Bayern Munich from Real Madrid. If Bayern decides to exercise its option, Real Madrid will have to buy Rodriquez back at market value of around $68 million. Rodriquez has game changer skills. Many clubs would love to snare him. His current total annual income is $22.1 million.
#8 Captain Silva
Since 2012, Thiago Silva has helped Paris Saint-Germain win four French Championships and two Coupes de France. In fact, the club has officially stated that its captain, Thiago Silva, is one of the greatest players in PSG history. Two years ago, the club extended his $21.4 million a year contract to 2020. This raises the 34-year-old defender’s yearly income to $22.4 million.
#7 Holding Strong
Although his market value has dropped in the past three years, Angel Di Maria’s four -year contract with Paris St Germain keeps the right winger in the top ten of this list. His total annual earnings with endorsements are $22.6 million.
#6 Room for Growth
Only 22-years-old, Sergio Aguero is very young to be in the plus $20 million club. The Manchester striker pulls in a combined income of $23 million a year. Other teams are fully aware of Sergio’s potential. When his contract with Manchester is over, there is a big possibility that the young Argentinian will move up on this list.
#5 Respect and Fear Equal Value
Many of his peers regard Luis Suarez as one of the best soccer players in the world. Obviously, the FC Barcelona executives feel the same way about the Uruguayan striker. On his team, Suarez’s annual pay of $26.9 million is second only to Lionel Messi. His contract with the $226 million buy-out cause will keep Suarez in Barcelona until June 2021.
#4 The Chinese Connection
When Oscar dos Santos Emboaba left Chelsea for Shanghai SIPG, he quadrupled his income. The 27-year-old’s base annual salary jumped up to almost $26 million. His total earnings of $27.4 million put him at # 56 on the Forbes list and 4th on the Highest Paid Soccer Players list.
#3 Neymar’s Big Jump
When Neymar da Silva signed his new contract with Paris St. Germain in the fall of last year, he instantly quadrupled his income. His contract raised the salary ceiling for top tier soccer players like Lionel Messi. A few months after Neymar signed his new contract, the increased pay standard made it easier for Messi to get his asking price. Neymar’s total annual revenue has reached $90 million. On top of that, Neymar’s $263 million buyout clause would make him a tough player to wrestle away from PSG.
#2 Mass Appeal Sweetens the Deals
Although his gross $64 million annual salary is less than Lionel Messi’s $84 million and Neymar’s $73 million, Cristiano Ronaldo’s $47 million in endorsement revenue makes him the second most expensive soccer player and the world’s third highest paid athlete. Now with Italian Series A Club Juventus, the 33-year-old forward’s endorsements, appearances and licensing deals bring his total yearly earnings of $108 million within $3 million of Messi’s total annual revenue. With his growing appeal, the four-time Ballon d’Or winner may take over the top spot next year.
#1 The Lion’s Share to Lionel Messi
Just over a year ago, Lionel Messi signed a new three-year contract with FC Barcelona. The deal made Lionel the world’s highest paid soccer player. Also, with $111 million total annual earnings, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is presently the world’s second highest paid athlete. However, the factor that makes Messi untouchable to other clubs is his $835 million buyout clause.
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