News of João Félix’s imminent switch to Atlético Madrid has many Portuguese fans concerned. Memory is still fresh of another Benfica starlet tipped for superstardom, Renato Sanches, whose career has nosedived since his high-profile move to Bayern Munich. But can we really criticise João Félix himself? He has before him a 5-year contract with a salary of €6 million per year minimum, while at Benfica he currently earns around €1m per annum.
Whether we like it or not, money is a huge factor in footballers’ career decisions nowadays. With high-quality Portuguese professional footballers in abundance, including the one who many believe to be the greatest of them all, Cristiano Ronaldo, we have gathered together the current top-five earning Portuguese footballers along with a comparison between the world’s other top-earning footballers to see how they rank.
- Cristiano Ronaldo
The most talented and best footballer of this or any Portuguese generation, Cristiano Ronaldo has most definitely earned his spot as the best paid Portuguese footballer and more importantly one of the highest paid footballers in the world. According to research from Betting sites, Ronaldo’s estimated earnings per year is upwards of $107 million dollars, a slight cut after a surprise signing to Italy’s Juventus back in 2018.
- Bernando Silva
Signed two years ago by English football giant Manchester City, Bernando Silva recently committed to a 3-year extension contract up until 2025. He is currently being paid upwards of £150,000 pounds per week. Silva is the 11th player to extend his contract with the club since January 2018. However, the likes of Real Madrid have been keeping a close eye on the young star. £150,000 pounds per week equates to just under $10 million dollars per year, although Bernardo’s real earnings are likely to be much more as top young stars are increasingly marketable assets in advertising/sponsorship campaigns.
Both former Real Madrid defender and star for his current team, Pepe currently plays for FC Porto earning a reported $3.8 million dollars per year. Back when Pepe left Madrid at the end of the 2015-16 season, he was purportedly bringing in just under $7.3 million dollars. Currently, however, Pepe’s career is winding down at the age of 36 after countless outstanding performances for Marítimo, Porto, Real Madrid, Beskitas and of course, Portugal.
- João Moutinho
Signed from Monaco by Wolves, João Moutinho is supposedly being paid upwards of £5.2 million pounds ($6.6 million dollars) per year. Wolves are blessed to count on such a high-quality athlete joining their side, who in his debut season showed he still has plenty to offer. The 32-year-old, who has racked up 116 caps for Portugal, was voted Wolves’ Player of the Season in 2018-19.
Former Manchester United player and now Orlando City SC forward, Nani is another Portugal stalwart who has represented his country in over 100 matches. Despite being worth a reported $30 million dollars, since Nani moved to Orlando City his paycheque received a considerable cut, and he is currently earning just under $1.3 million dollars per year.
Where does this place Portuguese footballers in comparison to the world’s top earners?
Now that we know what the current top Portuguese footballers are earning, what about the rest of the world’s stars? Using the infographic below we are able to see that Lionel Messi earns more money in a year than Ronaldo, at a reported $110 million dollars per year, $3 million more than the current Juventus star.
With Ronaldo ranking 2nd, Neymar JR takes 3rd spot earning just under $90 million dollars, nearly 70x more than Orlando City forward, Nani. Finally, Gareth Bale former Spurs talent and now Real Madrid giant brings in just under $35 million dollars per year.
Infographic source: https://www.betting-sites.uk.com/soccer-earnings/