Ronaldo v Messi, Klopp v Guardiola: Who are the highest-earning players and managers?

  • Kat Lucas

It’s no secret that Lionel Messi’s wages have become a big problem for Barcelona.

Such is the financial difficulty engulfing the Catalan club that the Argentine’s likely departure this summer would be a massive strain off their books. 

Player salaries are once again a massive talking point following French magazine L’Equipe’s publication of the biggest wages in world football in their latest issue. 

It’s no surprise to see Messi top of the tree as the forward earns a staggering €126m a year before tax. 

Indeed, he is also joined in the top five earners in the game by teammate Antoine Griezmann, who earns €34.8m a year before tax. Let’s take a look at the top five:

Five highest-earning players 

=4. Luis Suarez (Atleti) – €34.8m

=4. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona) – €34.8m

3. Neymar (PSG) – €36.7m

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) – €54.36m

1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – €126m


Five highest-earning managers 

5. Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid) – €16.8m

=3. Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool) – €17m

=3. José Mourinho (Tottenham) – €17m

2. Pep Guardiola (Man City) – €22.6m

1. Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid) – €43.2m


The same can be said of Pep Guardiola in second and, while he’s struggling right now, Jurgen Klopp has done more than enough by winning the Champions League and Premier League to earn his €17m a year. 

The less said about Jose Mourinho raking in the same sum at Tottenham, the better. 

It’s interesting that arguably European football’s biggest financial powerhouse, PSG, do not feature in the top managers – per various reports, Mauricio Pochettino is only on around €7million a year.

They do have Neymar as an entry in the five highest-earning players, on the other hand. 

Player and manager wages are going to continue being scrutinised with so many clubs struggling economically due to the ongoing world situation. 

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