Who Earns More: Soccer Players Or Basketballers? 2024

The truth is that on average, professional basketballers tend to earn more than professional soccer players.

The average NBA player’s salary is around $7 million per year, while the average salary for a soccer player is around $100,000.

However, it’s important to know that soccer’s popularity is on the rise, especially in countries like the United States.

Some of the top soccer players in the world, like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, earn upwards of $100 million per year through their salaries and endorsements.

In fact, soccer has become one of the most lucrative sports globally, with billions of dollars being invested in top leagues like the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Bundesliga.

This has led to increased salaries for top players and could potentially narrow the gap between the earnings of soccer and basketball players.

Are you finding it hard to wrap your head around the ins and outs of wages and salaries?

I’m here to demystify it all for you.

I’ll put in the effort to provide you with a detailed explanation that will clear up any confusion you may have.

Do Soccer Players Earn More Than Basketball Players?

The average salary for basketball players is higher than that of soccer players.

This is because a basketball team’s smaller size allows major emphasis to be dedicated to individual players.

Endorsement deals and managerial expenditures are much more available for a small basketball team than for a larger soccer squad.

Soccer and the NBA are arguably the most watched sport and the most lucrative sports around the world. Soccer has a larger audience all over the globe; while NBA has most of its audience in America.

Let’s compare salaries based on the famous athletes in each sport.

Basketball superstars like Stephen Curry, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant make less money than soccer superstars like Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar Jr.

But an average NBA player earns more than an average soccer player.

However, on average, European soccer players generate more salaries than NBA players.

The reason is that an NBA team has lesser players in a group compared to a soccer club that can have an average of 22 players on its payroll.

An average basketball player will earn around a minimum of $8 to $9 million yearly, while an average soccer player will earn around $1.5 million yearly.

Over the last decade, America has become a central sports hub, consuming sports content like European countries.

However, Americans are known for their commercialization.

Organizations like the NBA and the NFL are major and heavily commercialized sports in America.

When Forbes compiled the most expensive sports team in the world, only Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, and Bayern Munich were the only soccer team on the list; the rest of the list was dominated by American teams, especially the NBA.

Even in the player’s salaries, there are disparities in it too.

Aside from that, Ronaldo, Messi, and Neymar earn more than the highest-paid player in the NBA, Steph Curry, no other soccer player, comes after that.

The average salary of the top 50 earners in the NBA is about £23.5 million, which is  £1 million more than Andreas Iniesta, who happens to be the 7th highest-paid soccer player.

How Much Do Soccer Players Get Paid In Non-European Leagues?

Tens of millions can be paid annually to professional soccer players in non-European leagues. Pro soccer players are exceptionally well-paid compared to other major sports players.

Even though the average income might vary depending on several factors like the player’s position, age, ability, the league they play in, and professional pyramid level.

The top leagues in Europe normally pay their players the most.

However, the average salaries of the Brazilian, Mexican, and American leagues don’t even make the top 5 highest-paying divisions in Europe.

Carlos Vela, who plays for Los Angeles FC in America, makes $6.3 million annually and he’s the highest-paid player in the MLS.

And, a senior roster player in the league has an average base pay of $398,725 instead.

Even if this is a lot of money, Vela’s enormous salary is high.

The average Premier League player makes around ten times as much money as an MLS player. The average annual pay is approximately $3.9 million.

How Much Do Soccer Players Make In Europe?

Some of the highest-paid players in the world play in European soccer leagues, with top earners like Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Cristiano Ronaldo earning up to $78 million from their teams.

When you consider sponsorship, image rights, advertising partnerships, and endorsements, their yearly income may increase even more.

Players in European leagues often make more money from their off-the-field affairs like brand advertising than actually playing soccer.

Cristiano Ronaldo makes more money from soccer even though his recent transfer from Juventus to manchester united has made him make less money than Messi and Neymar do.

The Top Highest Paying Leagues In Europe

CountryLeagueAverage annual salary
EnglandPremier League$3.9 million
SpainLa Liga$2.75 million
ItalySerie A$2.23 million
GermanyBundesliga$2.05 million
FranceLigue 1$1.54 million

SEE ALSO | 3 Reasons Why Soccer Players Grab The Ball After Scoring?

How Much Do Soccer Players Make In The United Kingdom?

The average player’s annual salary in the Premier League is almost $3.9 million, making it the highest-paid league in the world.

Supply and demand alone explain why Premier League players are paid so highly.

English football has become a well-known brand thanks to years of success, devoted supporters, a unique style of play, exceptional players, and triumphs in international competitions.

The value of the English domestic league increased along with its popularity sports hub; the era began in 1992 with the rebranding of the English Football League First Division.

The Premier League, over time, has been able to draw some of the world’s best soccer superstars because its teams generated the most money through TV broadcasts and sponsorships.

Even though the pandemic has put many teams in a difficult financial situation, the value of the league and these exceptional broadcasting deals ensure that the excessively high premier league salaries will continue.

Estimated 2022/23 Premier League Team Payroll 

  Manchester United   £73,770,000 £51,480,000 £63,875,000 £23,656,000 £261,830,000 £212,781,000
  Chelsea   £17,084,000 £81,400,000 £42,796,000 £12,324,000 £313,280,000 £158,604,000
  Liverpool   £49,162,000 £47,970,000 £45,220,000 £11,128,000 £94,370,000 £153,480,000
  Manchester City   £22,100,000 £70,484,000 £46,920,000 £4,680,000 £153,170,000 £144,184,000
  Arsenal   £22,360,000 £29,190,000 £25,530,000 £8,500,000 £145,270,000 £85,580,000
  Tottenham Hotspur   £34,424,000 £26,005,200 £19,570,000 £5,280,000 £167,090,000 £85,279,200
  Leicester City   £15,970,000 £28,168,000 £20,135,000 £1,040,000 £18,700,000 £65,313,000
  Aston Villa   £19,520,000 £21,885,396 £20,976,000 £2,886,000 £76,450,000 £65,267,396
  Newcastle United   £15,233,600 £14,471,000 £27,919,600 £1,900,000 £149,600,000 £59,524,200
  West Ham United   £10,880,000 £14,656,000 £18,490,000 £11,720,000 £200,210,000 £55,746,000
  Everton   £7,975,000 £12,260,000 £23,148,000 £6,140,000 £68,420,000 £49,523,000
  Southampton   £17,050,000 £10,764,000 £8,040,000 £3,490,000 £72,380,000 £39,344,000
  Fulham   £8,320,000 £13,274,024 £12,732,800 £490,000 £65,120,000 £34,816,824
  Wolves   £13,910,000 £7,840,000 £10,206,000 £2,140,000 £131,890,000 £34,096,000
  Brighton   £5,850,000 £13,662,000 £9,896,000 £1,353,333 £43,780,000 £30,761,333
  Bournemouth   £6,920,000 £9,280,000 £9,766,000 £280,000 £29,590,000 £26,246,000
  Nottingham Forest   £1,700,000 £13,540,000 £3,820,000 £5,330,000 £164,670,000 £24,390,000
  Leeds United   £6,830,000 £1,859,000 £6,869,800 £1,714,000 £98,970,000 £17,272,800
  Brentford   £1,712,000 £7,720,000 £5,044,000 £1,300,000 £55,550,000 £15,776,000

Who Is The Highest Soccer Player In 2022?

Kylian Mbappe is the highest-paid soccer player in the world, according to the Forbes wealthy list.

According to reports, he makes almost $125 million a year through his pay from PSG, sponsorships, and endorsements.

Here’s a list of the highest-paid soccer players

 Player Team Earnings Salary Endorsement
 Kylian MbappePSG$125 Million$105 Million$20 Million
 Cristiano RonaldoManchester United$113 Million$53 million$60 Million
 Lionel MessiPSG$110 Million$62 million$48 Million
 Neymar Jr.PSG$91 Million$56 Million$35 Million
 Mohammed SalahLiverpool$39.5 Million$24.5 Million$15 Million
 Eden HazardReal Madrid$31.3 Million$28.6 million$2.5 Million
 Andreas IniestaVissel Kobe$30 Million$23 Million$7 Million
 Raheem SterlingChelsea$29.4 Million$21.4 Million$8 Million
 Kevin De BruyneManchester City$29 Million$25.5 Million$3.5 Million
 Antoine GriezmannAtletico de Madrid$27.5 Million$22 Million$5.5 Million

SEE ALSO | Do College Soccer Players Get Paid?

How Much Do Female Soccer Players Make?

The highest-paid female soccer player, Carli Lloyd (retired), earns about $518,000 a season, which is much less than the salaries of men’s soccer players.

In the Women’s Super League (WSL) in England, the average annual salary is said to be over $40,000 yearly.

Samantha Kerr, a player for Chelsea, earns almost $270,000 annually and is the highest-paid player in the league.

Top Paid Basketball Players

Rank Name Team Annual Salary
1.Stephen CurryGolden State Warriors$49 Million
2.Russell WestbrookLos Angeles Lakers$48 Million
3.LeBron JamesLos Angeles Lakers$45 Million
4.Kevin DurantBrooklyn Nets$44 million
5.Bradley BealWashington Wizards$43 Million
6.Damian LillardPortland Trail Blazers$42 million
7.Giannis AntetokounmpoMilwaukee Bucks$42 Million
8.Kawhi LeonardLA Clippers$42 million
9.Paul GoergeLA Clippers$42 Million
10.Klay ThompsonGolden State Warriors$40 Million

What sport pays the highest?

1. Basketball.

2. Combat Sports.

3. Auto Racing.

4. Golf.

5. NFL.

6. Soccer.

7. Tennis.

8. NHL.

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Final Whistle

In the NBA, the average salary is $8 million, while in soccer, unless it’s Ronaldo, Messi, or Neymar, an average soccer player’s salary is lower than an average basketball player’s.

Ultimately, the average soccer player’s salary and the average basketball player’s salary are not comparable. With the latter earning more than the former

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