This summer will see some of the greatest (and most highly-paid) footballers converge on France for the European Championships. They bring with them big expectations and even bigger bank balances. Here we look at the highest paid stars who will feature in the tournament:
5. Andrés Iniesta
The Barcelona captain has done it all: Champions League, Euros, and scoring a World Cup winner. He will also be pivotal to Spain’s chances of retaining their European crown. It is no surprise then that his success has translated into big money rewards.
Iniesta earns a cool €15m salary from Barcelona. This is supplemented by approximately €2m per year in the form of prize money and performance bonuses. The icing on the cake comes in the form of €4.5m om endorsements from the likes of Nike, Sony, Nissan, and Estrella.
4. Thomas Muller
The ruthlessly efficient German talisman comes in at fourth. He benefited from a lucrative contract extension with Bayern last year, which took his annual salary up to €16m.
On the national stage, he is a world cup winning icon. German hopes this summer lay in no small part in his prolific goal scoring abilities. This being the case, he has become immensely marketable in his home country. German brands such as Adidas and Volkswagen pay handsomely to have the forward on their books.
3. Gareth Bale
Bale transferred to Real Madrid in 2013 for a world record fee. The Galactico has a salary to match, earning €14m a year, as well as €500,000 in performance bonuses.
Bale also rakes in a whopping €10m per year from endorsements. Companies like BT and Adidas pay a premium to be associated with his clean-cut Welsh boy-done-good image. Furthermore, Bale benefits from the status of being arguably the only truly world class British player at the moment. A fact the Welsh are hoping will power them to victory over England in the group stages.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan is clearly immensely wealthy, and he is not afraid to show it. The majority of Zlatan’s riches comes from his salary at PSG. The Qatari-funded club pays him a staggering €20m annually. Furthermore, Ibrahimovic’s larger than life persona has led to a plethora of sponsorship and licensing deals, amounting to €6m.
- Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo is the joint favourite to be top scorer at the Euros this summer. Understandable given the phenomenal 255 goals he has scored for Real Madrid since 2009. Already considered as one of the greatest of all time, he is currently rewarded with an annual salary of €32m from Real Madrid.
This is only half of the story. Ronaldo is a player that transcends the sport, a man instantly recognizable even to the casual observer. CR7 is a valuable brand in itself. This has led to companies from Armani to Nike paying a combined €35m in sponsorship deals.
A successful campaign with Portugal this summer can only improve Ronaldo’s stock and marketability.
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Tags: UEFA Euro