A look at 20 of the world's top football earners

Football is, without doubt, one of the most satisfying sports to watch in the world. However, one thing that has a lot of people worried about football is the sheer size of the money involved. When you look around the sport, you can see incredible disparities in the way that players are being paid. It’s one of the main reasons why looking at the top 20 earning powers of the best players in the world can seem so jarring. Take a look at this list from FindBettingSites.co.uk, and you can see why so many fans are feeling disillusioned about football.

For example, the earning power of Edinson Cavani of Paris Saint-Germain sees the Uruguay forward bring in around $19.5m per year. However, the top person on the list, Lionel Messi, brings in around $110m/year. That’s a huge disparity. Even rumoured Barcelona target, Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann, is on around $19.6m/year.

With talk of him taking a wage cut to move to Barcelona, it would be strange to see a player who is expected to keep up pace with Messi in terms of attacking output earn around one fifth of what he does. One thing that his list dos show, though, is the sheer disparity in the way that defenders are viewed financially.

Until Virgil van Dijk moved from Southampton to Liverpool for £75m, a defender had never gone for such fees. This changed the change, though, and showed the immense importance of defenders in the world stage. The old football saying is that attacks win you games, but defences win you titles. And with this list, it shows that too many clubs are still prioritising paying their attack a royalty, with their defenders paid a comparative pittance.

Why are the top football earners mostly forwards?

There are several reasons why only two defenders – Thiago Silva of PSG, and Gerard Pique of FC Barcelona – appear on that list of the top 20 players in the world in terms of pay. For one, teams often value the scoring of a goal far more than protecting the concession of a goal. Therefore, the money that is expected to be paid for a forward is justified in their goal and assist output over the season.

It’s not until recently that defenders were able to start being commended for their importance to the team defensively. In the past, it was hard to analyse or judge how big an impact a player would have in a defensive position. A 30-goal striker was easy to rank as a success/failure: what metrics would have been truly value-driven for a defender?

For years, this was a major problem in football. Now, though, we expect to see this change. In the next edition of the real-time soccer earnings around the world, expect to see more defenders appearing in the mix. It is a shame, though, that it has taken until now for defenders to become rewarded financially for their contribution to their teams ability to win titles.

Infographic source: https://www.betting-sites.uk.com/soccer-earnings/