The highest paid players of 2020

Who are the best paid footballers in 2020? We take a look.

1. Lionel Messi – £40 million per year

While it would be inaccurate to say that anyone truly ‘deserves’ £40 million a year, it cannot be denied that the contract makes good business sense for Barcelona. The Argentine has scored a phenomenal 438 goals in 474 games for Barca, possessing incredible skill and dribbling ability. Messi’s presence makes a huge difference to the club’s brand and merchandizing revenue across the world, which is why he’s the highest paid footballer in 2020.

2. Antoine Griezmann – £35 million per year

Griezmann has so far struggled to live up to his price tag at Barca. While at Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid, he was his team’s clear, outstanding attacking player and had the freedom to roam as he wishes. At Camp Nou, Messi is the obvious star and playing in the same XI as him has brought, as well as advantages, certain strategic issues as well – his lack of willingness to track back becomes more noticeable and he likes to move into similar areas to Messi. Griezmann could yet become a star and justify the pounds, but he has a bit of work to do.

3. Luis Suarez – £35 million per year

Continuing the Barca theme, Suarez’s combined annual salary is more than the average lottery jackpot. Suarez’s career is based, predominantly, on two outstanding back-to-back seasons: 13/14, when his skill, tenacity and goalscoring ability made him a huge influence behind Liverpool’s unexpected title push, then 14/15, when he starred in Barcelona’s front three with Messi and Neymar. In recent years, though, Suarez has lost some of his mobility and Barca may look for a new centre-forward.

4. Neymar – £35 million per year

Neymar is the best individual talent to come out of Brazil since Ronaldinho and that is reflected in his salary at PSG. The criticisms of the left-sided forward would be that he can at times be too individualistic, he has developed a reputation for diving and, aside from that 2014-15 campaign, has not thrived in the Champions League as much as hoped. Has been the subject of reports of a return to Barcelona, but it would be hard to see him fitting into the side there unless Griezmann were to leave.

5. Cristiano Ronaldo – £30 million per year

Over the last 17 years, we have seen Ronaldo turn from this silky, lightweight kid that earnt a move to Manchester United in 2003, into a strong, quick, powerful monster that almost dominated European football between 2006 and 2014, before he lost elements of his pace and subsequently became a central, serial goalscorer for Real Madrid. He inspired Los Blancos to four Champions League titles in nine years, before moving to Juventus in 2018 and needs one more goal for Portugal to become the second ever player to bag 100 times internationally. He’s been fantastic, in terms of on-field matters.

6. Alexis Sanchez – £24 million per year

Sanchez did not quite reach his full potential at Barcelona but he shone more emphatically at Arsenal, where he scored 60 goals in 122 games. Although the Chilean was playing in a weaker side, with the Gunners not at their best between 2014 and 2018, he had more freedom to run, harry opponents across the park, weave in and out of challenges and be his side’s main attacking spark. Things went stale towards the end of his time in North London though, due to an ongoing contract saga – and he didn’t exactly thrive at Manchester United or Inter Milan, where he was subsequently sent on loan.

7. Gareth Bale – £23 million per year

Bale has tremendous ability. He made his debut for Southampton in 2006, when he announced himself on the Championship stage at just 16 by scoring a free-kick against Derby County, before earning a move to Tottenham Hotspur and improving every year. His stand-out season in English football was 2012-13, when he scored a combination of stunning long-range strikes and inspirational solo runs, highlighting a unique blend of pace, power and finesse. Real Madrid, unsurprisingly, were interested and in his first season, he starred in their 2013-14 Champions League win, before a combination of injuries, a perceived power struggle with Ronaldo and disagreements with Zinedine Zidane possibly affected his levels. At 30, though, he could yet gain Premier League offers.

 

 

 

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