Football’s top earners 2020/21: Iniesta remains FIFTH on the list

Robin Bairner
Football’s top earners 2020/21: Iniesta remains FIFTH on the list

Former Barcelona player Andres Iniesta remains fifth on the list of highest-paid football players, according to a study published by France Football on Tuesday.

At his peak around a decade ago, the midfielder was a central pillar of the Barcelona and Spain teams that dominated domestic and international football in the early part of the 2010s.

READ MORE: How Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City spent £2.98bn on transfers

Indeed, Iniesta even has the distinction of having scored in a World Cup final, netting the winner as Spain defeated Germany 1-0 in the 2010 showpiece.

He has, however, dropped off the footballing radar in recent years since departing Barcelona for Vissel Kobe in 2018.

Iniesta, who will turn 37 on 11 May, still earns €34 million per year, according to the figures, which include wages, bonuses and sponsorship money.

Football’s biggest earners

PLAYEREARNINGS (€m)
1Lionel Messi125
2Cristiano Ronaldo118
3Neymar98
4Gareth Bale37
5Andres Iniesta34
6Eden Hazard32
=Raheem Sterling32
=Kylian Mbappe32
9Robert Lewandowski30
10Antoine Griezmann28
=Kevin De Bruyne28
12Paul Pogba26
13Oscar25
=Thomas Muller25
15Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang24.5
16David de Gea24
=Manuel Neuer24
18Toni Kroos23.5
19Gerard Pique21
20Mohamed Salah20
Source: France Football. Includes wages, bonuses and sponsorship deals

Naturally, the top three spots are taken by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo and Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar. Meanwhile, Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, presently on loan at Tottenham, occupies fourth place.

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling is the highest grossing Premier League player (when Bale’s loan is overlooked), earning €32m for the season in progress.

Iniesta’s earnings put him in a bracket ahead of many of the game’s present-day superstars, including PSG’s Kylian Mbappe.

Indeed, the veteran’s wages top any player presently on Barcelona’s books, with Antoine Girezmann on €28m and Gerard Pique, who earns €21m, the only other players on the Camp Nou books who presently earn sufficiently to break into the Top 20.

Perhaps the other surprising name on this list, as well as Iniesta, is Oscar, who turned out for Chelsea between 2012 and 2017 but departed them for the riches of the Chinese Super League. The Brazil international player continues to be handsomely renumerated for that decision, with an estimated earnings of €25m for the 2020/21 campaign.