Who are the highest paid footballers?
Who are the highest paid players in Ligue 1? If footballers’ salaries are often in the news in France, Business Cool invites you back to the salaries ranking of the best paid footballers in the French first division.
Methodology for classifying the salary of Ligue 1 players
The ranking presented below does not take into account transfer costs and focuses only on the salary paid by clubs to their players. It therefore does not include advertising revenue, nor the various income that players may have through their personal investments.
To establish the salary rankings of Ligue 1 footballers, Business Cool uses the data provided by the FootMercato site, which specializes in football news, in particular financial transactions related to this area. The salaries mentioned are measured net, before income taxes and are much less important than a gross salary, although these remain advantageous.
Read also: Ligue 1 club balance sheet ranking for the 2022-2023 season
The 10 highest paid players in Ligue 1
Paris Saint-Germain has been in Ligue 1 since its takeover by Qatar Sprorts Investments (QSI) in 2012 and has developed the club’s brand image around the world. The combination of this commercial and sporting success has allowed PSG to build a dream team, made up of the best footballers in the world. To attract them, the club from the capital has not hesitated to grant them important salaries, unheard of in the French Ligue 1 championship, given that the ten highest paid players are PSG employees.
10 – Gianluigi Donnarumma
Arrived at PSG in 2021, the Italian goalkeeper is one of the most promising players in his role. Trained at Milan, in 2016 he became the youngest goalkeeper to take to the grass in Serie A, the top Italian league, at 16 years and eight months. From then on, he continued to progress and also established himself in the goals of the Italian selection, which led to victory at Euro 2020, for which he was voted best player, a rare event for a goalkeeper.
The Italian goalkeeper therefore closes this top 10 of the best paid players in Ligue 1 with an annual net salary estimated at 7 million euros a year. He has roughly the same income as his replacement Keylor Navas. Two goalkeepers paid almost 14 million euros a year or more than a million euros a month, something never seen in Europe.
Sergio Ramos’ record is undoubtedly one of the most impressive that football has known: five Spanish championships, four Champions Leagues, two Spanish Cups under the white shirt of Real Madrid, but also two European Championships and a World Cup with Spain. The PSG defender is already considered a legend in his role. A status that comes at a cost to him given that he receives a salary of 7.3 million euros a year in Paris, or a monthly salary of around 600,000 euros.
8 – Mauro Icardi
Currently on loan at Galatasaray in Turkey, Mauro Icardi remains a PSG player, especially as 90% of the salary he receives at the Istanbul club is paid by the Parisian institution. Surpassed by FC Barcelona at the start of his career, the Argentine striker revealed himself to Europe thanks to his performances in Italy, first in Genoa, then at Inter. He will score 124 goals and 219 games for the nerazzurri and will therefore move to PSG in 2020, with a salary of 7.5 million euros a year.
7 – Presnel Kimpembe
He is the only player in this league table to leave the PSG training centre. Having arrived at the club in 2005, he gradually climbed the ladder to establish himself as a key player in the Parisian defense for several years. With 232 appearances for Paris and 28 selections for the French team, his contract signed in 2018 brings him a salary of 8.5 million a year, making him the fourth highest paid French defender, behind Wesley Fofana ( Chelsea), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich) and Raphaël Varane (Manchester United).
6 – Marco Verretti
At the club since the beginning of the Qatar era, at the age of 20, from the Italian second division, Marco Verratti has established himself as one of the best midfielders in Ligue 1 and also in Europe over the seasons. A status that explains his salary of nine million euros a year, the highest for a footballer who holds this position in France.
5 – Marquinhos’ salary
PSG definitely like to get supplies from Italy to build up its workforce. The Brazilian central defender, who arrived from Roma a season after that of his Italian predecessor, has over time become a point of reference for his role. PSG player Marquinhos therefore logically complements the table with a salary estimated at almost ten million euros per season, or around €800,000 a month.
4 – Ashraf Hakimi
Like his aforementioned Brazilian teammate, Achraf Hakimi, who also joined PSG from Inter in 2021, is today considered one of the best, if not the best right-back in the world. Semi-finalist with Morocco at the World Cup, champion of Italy, winner of the Champions League, his record would make more than one dream. At the age of 24, the Spanish-Moroccan is therefore the best paid defender in terms of salary in Ligue 1, with an annual fee of ten million euros.
3 – Neymar Jr.
If Neymar Jr. made history by becoming the biggest transfer in history, having landed at PSG for 222 million euros in 2017, he also causes the branches to panic in terms of salary received. This year the Brazilian striker received 38 million euros thanks to his activity as a PSG player. A large salary for a footballer that allows him to get on the podium of the highest paid players in France; he is the fourth highest paid player in the world.
Recently crowned with the world crown with the Argentine squad, Lionel Messi will have to settle for second place in this ranking. With his 7 Ballon d’Ors, he is considered by some to be the greatest player in football history. A status and an aura in the world that come at a price: he receives almost 38 million euros a year from PSG, or a monthly salary of over 3 million net!
Read also: All about Messi: salary, luck, sports career, PSG…
1 – Kylian Mbappé, the highest paid former footballer in the world
Kylian Mbappé became, for six months, the highest paid footballer in history, with a salary of almost 75 million euros a year, before being recently overtaken by Cristiano Ronaldo and his departure to the club.’Al-Nassr, Saudi Arabia. However, the French prodigy remains the highest paid Ligue 1 and European player in the world, with a net monthly salary in excess of six million euros. In other words, the former Monaco player receives almost 1.5 million euros a week, 200,000 euros a day, 8,500 euros an hour, 140 euros a minute and 2 euros and 30 cents a second.
Read also Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the highest paid footballer in the world
Salary: The ranking of the highest paid players in Ligue 1 in 2022
|Position||Players||Net annual salary before tax (in €)|
|1||Kylian Mbappe (PSG)||75,000,000|
|2||Lionel Messi (PSG)||38,000,000|
|3||Neymar Jr (PSG)||36,000,000|
|4||Achraf Hakimi (PSG)||10,000,000|
|6||Marco Verratti (PSG)||9,000,000|
|7||Presnel Kimpembe (PSG)||8,500,000|
|8||Mauro Icardi (Galatasaray/PSG)||7,500,000|
|9||Sergio Ramos (PSG)||7,300,000|
|10||Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG)||7,000,000|
|10||Keylor Navas (PSG)||7,000,000|
|12||Juan Bernat (PSG)||6,750,000|
|13||Wissam Ben Yedder (Munich)||6,100,000|
|14||Fabian Ruiz (PSG)||5,000,000|
|14||Renato Sanches (PSG)||5,000,000|
|16||Alexis Sanchez (OM)||4,000,000|
|17||Corentin Tolisso (OL)||3,950,000|
|18||Kasper Schmeichel (Nice)||3,900,000|
|19||Jordan Veretout (OM)||3,700,000|
|19||Andre Gomes (Lille)||3,700,000|
|19||Ross Barkley (Nice)||3,700,000|
|19||Alexander Nubel (Munich)||3,700,000|
|23||Cengiz Under (OM)||3,600,000|
|23||Maxence Caqueret (OL)||3,600,000|
|25||Nicolas Pepe (Nice)||3,250,000|
What is the average salary of Ligue 1 players?
It is difficult to evaluate the average salary of a Ligue 1 player without taking into account the colossal amounts awarded to PSG players, since they occupy the top 12 places in the ranking of the highest paid players in Ligue 1, as mentioned above.
Including PSG players, a Ligue 1 player earns an average salary of €78,000 net per month. Without them, this estimate drops to 52,000 euros net per month. A comfortable figure, which varies according to the power of the club in which a player evolves. Salaries at Olympique de Marseille, Monaco or Lyon, three clubs with significant financial funds, where the average annual salary of football players is estimated at around two million euros, will logically be higher than at Reims, Clermont and Montpellier, the most paid in the country, with an average of 250,000 euros per year per player.
If the salaries of footballers are so high, it is partly thanks to the income that the global world of football generates, through TV rights, sponsorship deals, advertising, among others. This money earned by the clubs is then logically donated to the team’s players.
Read also : Salary ranking of the highest paid footballers in 2023