We have assembled a starting XI of the players earning the greatest salaries because footballers are among the highest-paid sportsmen in the world.
The dominance of the top five leagues in Europe, particularly with players from PSG and Barcelona, is not surprising.
Football Planet assembled this XI using the highest-paid players at each position from the world’s pay tables on FBref, who are set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation:
GK: David de Gea
With a weekly salary of £375,000, De Gea surpasses players like Manuel Neuer and Jan Oblak to claim the title of highest-paid goalkeeper in the world.
The Spanish goalkeeper has spent the past 12 seasons at Old Trafford, and despite his recent struggles with consistency, he is still one of the top names on the roster.
Since his current contract at Manchester is set to expire at the end of the current campaign, he may possibly be rewarded with a new one for his performance this year under Erik ten Hag.
RB: Reece James:
James is now regarded as one of the top full-backs in the world after making a quick ascent through the Chelsea academy. His £250,000 monthly salary undoubtedly reflects his highly esteemed position in the game.
The Chelsea full-back has had a string of misfortune injuries this campaign, and after leaving the game against Bournemouth with an injury, he now faces yet another stint on the sidelines.
CB: Sergio Ramos
Ramos is settling in at PSG after a debut year marred by injuries, and he has been paired with Marquinhos at the center of their defense this year.
Ramos, who reportedly earns £463,000 per week, is the highest-paid defender in the entire world. Before retiring last year, his former Spanish colleague Gerard Pique held the previous record.
His current contract expires at the end of the current campaign, and a reunion with his former Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo at Al Nassr has been suggested.
CB: David Alaba
When Real Madrid acquired Alaba from Bayern Munich on a free transfer, they made one of the deals of the century. He received compensation from them in the form of a reported weekly salary of £382,000, making him the highest-paid defender in La Liga.
The 30-year-old had a remarkable first season with Madrid at which time they won La Liga, the Supercopa de Espaa, and the Champions League.
With a reported weekly salary of £353,000. Alba is still one of Barcelona’s highest earners today. Barcelona has a reputation for awarding huge contracts these days.
Alba was one of the players who agreed to a pay decrease in 2021 in an effort to help Barcelona’s financial difficulties. According to other sources, Alba deferred another portion of his compensation and decreased his pay by as much as 25%.
CDM: Sergio Busquets
Given that his contract at Barcelona is slated to expire at the end of the current campaign, Busquets may be nearing the end of his time there, though Xavi is desperate to keep him.
“We shall see what happens after his contract expires in June. He feels it more on a personal level. For me, he is fundamental in terms of how he views himself within the squad, Xavi told reporters.
At Barcelona, the 34-year-old is currently making an estimated £628,000 each week. Andres Iniesta, a former teammate of his from Barcelona, makes close to £500,000 per week with Vissel Kobe, so he is not far from matching his pay.
CDM: Frenkie de Jong
De Jong is not only the highest-paid player at Barcelona, but if his estimated weekly salary of £637,000 is accurate, he is also the highest-paid player in La Liga. It makes sense why he decided to spend the summer local.
As long as Manchester United is interested in him, the Dutch midfielder might be on the move from Camp Nou.
RM: Kylian Mbappe
Mbappe is undoubtedly the best player in the world right now, and his mouthwatering salary package undoubtedly reflects that. The PSG star is reportedly paid £1,222,000 every week, which is more than any of his colleagues.
With 56 goals in 56 games, Mbappe concluded the 2022 calendar year as the undisputed top scorer, beating out competitors like Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski.
CAM: Lionel Messi
Messi’s stated weekly salary of £1,080,000 appears to be in line for increase as a new deal appears to be in the works for him at PSG.
Messi is the current favorite to win the upcoming Ballon d’Or, which would be the eighth of his career, following Argentina’s World Cup victory. He is still capable of feats that other players may only imagine at the age of 35.
It is only fitting that Neymar joins his other PSG teammates on the team. With 21 goal contributions thus far this season, the Brazilian playmaker has been PSG’s most significant contributor in Ligue 1.
The 30-year-old makes somewhat less than Messi and Mbappe, with an estimated weekly salary of £957,000.
ST: Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo will overtake Messi as the highest-paid player in the world of football thanks to his new contract with Al-Nassr. Although the 37-year-old has received some substantial contracts throughout the years, this is undoubtedly his largest to far.
His new contract is reportedly worth £173 million year, including image and business deals. As a result, Ronaldo will be paid a staggering £3,327,000 each week, almost three times more than Mbappe, the second-highest paid athlete in the world.