How Much Does a Soccer Player Make a Year? (The Harsh Reality!)

Updated on 
January 31, 2022

When it comes to playing soccer professionally, money numbers can get very interesting. Some players struggle to make a living, while other players make millions of dollars every single year.

In this article, I'll be looking at the most common average salaries of soccer players that represent the majority.

So how much does a soccer player make a year on average?

The majority of soccer players make anything from $60,000 to $300,000 dollars a year. While it is not what people expect, real data suggests that only a very small minority of soccer players make more than $300,000 dollars a year. Then there is an even smaller group of players like Messi or Ronaldo, that are making millions.

While many people don't want to accept this truth, the reality is very harsh. If you are not playing in a big European club, chances are that you will struggle to make a living. This image below explains this really well!

Image credits belong to: Quora

If you are an aspiring soccer player, it's good to know what are the statistics and how much are players getting paid a year. Even though you maybe don't like my answer, it is good that you know it.

Remember, you can always make more than some CEO at a 500 Fortune company - or some financial banker and still be very happy. Even though we don't do it ONLY for the money, it's nice to have a soccer pay for your bills.

Let's dive into another question!

Who is the highest paid soccer player?

While I explained earlier that millionaires in soccer are "rare", here is the answer to your question of who is the highest paid soccer player:

The highest paid soccer player is currently Lionel Messi. His yearly salary is $130 million dollars, which includes his PSG salary and endorsement deals with brands such as Adidas. This income for the latest year makes him the highest-paid soccer player in the whole world.

You could maybe notice I used word "rare" when it comes to rich soccer players. And it's the truth.

On TV, Youtube - or everywhere you look you mostly see the world stars from Real Madrid, PSG, Barcelona and etc. What you don't see though are the thousands of other players, that are playing in lower leagues around the whole world.

Again, millionaires in soccer are rather a minority than the majority.

Suggestion: Check my article where I revealed how much players get paid per goal.

What is the lowest salary of a soccer player?

One of the lowest salaries of a soccer player in top leagues is around $100,000 a year. Even though there are much smaller salaries in less competitive and less popular leagues, I decided to take a look at the numbers of the most popular leagues such as the Premier League.

While I was still playing professionally, my yearly salary was a small fragment of this sum. It was around $30,000 a year. Now don't get me wrong, it was really good pay. The thing is that I live in a country, where a normal yearly salary is around $15,000 a year.

So when I put it that way, I was still doing very well - even though when you compare my salary with $100,000 you could say I was struggling.

You see, sometimes you need to see all the facts about the salary to tell if the player is struggling, or thriving.

Do soccer players get paid 52 weeks a year?

While soccer players' salaries are sometimes quoted on weekly basis, the way they are getting paid depends on the terms they have written in the contract. Some players are getting paid monthly, while others have chosen to get paid quarterly. But the most common way of getting paid is monthly.

I know it can be confusing sometimes - as the salary of every soccer player is shown as a weekly pay. The thing is that you need to think about professional soccer players as about normal employees with a contract.

Wrapping it up

While it can be helpful to look at the statistics and try to think for your future in advance, I wouldn't recommend you to get caught up in that.

Here is a short summary of what we learned today:

  • The majority of players make anything from anything from $60,000 to $300,000 dollars a year.
  • Only a minority of players make more than $300,000 dollars a year.
  • The way soccer players are getting paid widely depends on their contract.

My last piece of advice: don't get caught up in the numbers too much. While statistics are real data in the world, these can be way too different from your actual yearly salary!

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Tom Lindeman
Ball Athlete project
Hey! My name is Tom and I created this blog in order to help people wherever they are in their sport journey. Inspirational posts, guides, reviews and much more! Read about the project here.
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