Football is money-obsessed. Transfer fees and wages are inflating out of all control, reason and logic. Some of the game's best players are sitting on cash mountains that could barely fit in the behemoth stadiums they ply their trade in.

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The Premier League is the ultimate cash cow, with the balance of spending power pivoting away from La Liga and funnelling into the top league in England.

Financial crises developing at Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have seen some of their players fall off this list, while Real Madrid only boast one footballer in the top 10, and he is lesser-spotted to say the least.

RadioTimes.com examines the top 10 highest-paid players in the world. We've based our figures on reports from L'Equipe, Forbes and a variety of official sources to boost our accuracy.

All figures mentioned are before tax – unless specified – and do not include bonuses, extra fees and players' various sponsorship deals which, in some cases, can instantly double their annual income.

Highest-paid footballers in the world 2022

10. Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich) – £350,000 per week

Show Me The Mane may have been one of the most popular Fantasy Premier League team names last year, but if that was his negotiating demand to Bayern Munich, the Bundesliga giants certainly took note.

Not only has Mane become the main man at one of the biggest football clubs in the world, but he has become the highest-paid player in Germany.

His Liverpool wages were modest by comparison, and now he can ride out his career picking up one of the heaviest pay cheques in the world.

9. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – £350,000 per week

Wages freed up by Mane have effectively been re-directed to the bank account of one Mr M. Salah after the Egyptian wizard settled speculation over his future by signing a multi-year deal on bumper pay terms.

Roberto Firmino's waning influence combined with Mane's departure has allowed Liverpool to bump up Salah's pay packet without warranting the same treatment to any of their other stars in the never-ending war for parity.

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8. Erling Haaland (Man City) – £375,000 per week

Haaland has hit the ground running at Manchester City in terms of performances and rewards. The Norwegian machine is already beginning to justify his operating costs.

Not only has Haaland made the career-defining move to his beloved Manchester City, but he is likely to be the pace-setter in terms of Premier League wages for as long as he remains in the North West.

His five-year deal will likely see his basic pay continue to rise, at which point he will then be eligible for a contract that could be the most expensive in Premier League history if he continues his explosive rise. That's a story for 2027 though.

7. David De Gea (Man Utd) – £375,000 per week

The Manchester United star is the highest-paid goalkeeper in the world – and it lands him in seventh place on the list.

David De Gea's Old Trafford contract – worth just shy of £400,000 per week – makes up the bulk of his annual earnings.

A string of blunders in the 2019/20 campaign had raised question marks over his future but the Spaniard has bounced back amid fierce competition from United academy graduate Dean Henderson.

6. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) – £380,000 per week

Yes, Hazard remains the sixth highest-paid player in world football despite only making 50 La Liga appearances in four years with Real Madrid.

The Belgian superstar has never re-captured the form that earned him a seat at the European giants' table in the first place, and he appears to be the new Gareth Bale, attracting the wrath of Madrid fans for his non-appearances and hefty payslip.

5. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – £400,000 per week

De Bruyne recently signed a new deal with City that has seen him launch high up in the Premier League earning charts.

He earns more than teammate Jack Grealish, who picked up a deal worth around the £300,000 per week mark upon arrival at the club last summer.

The silky Belgian extended his city deal until 2025, locking him down for the prime of his career – a major relief for City fans and Pep Guardiola alike.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd) – £515,000 per week

Apparently being the most popular athlete on the planet isn't enough to land you a place at the top of the rich list.

Cristiano Ronaldo may be the most followed sportsperson on Instagram but his annual earnings are marginally dwarfed by three footballers.

He became the top goalscorer in football history with a goal for Juventus against Napoli in the 2021 Italian Super Cup to take his total for club and country to 760 and has continued to find the net since a high-profile return to Manchester United last summer.

3. Neymar (PSG) – £606,000 per week

The poster boy of Brazilian football, Neymar beefed up his bank balance by sealing a world-record £200m transfer to PSG from Barcelona in 2017.

He is paid more than £30 million per year by the French club before bonuses, who have assembled a squad of superstars in their bid to land the elusive Champions League title.

Perhaps a sign of his divisive nature, he rakes in significantly less cash from sponsors than the next two men on the list.

2. Lionel Messi (PSG) – £960,000 per week

Messi is considered by many to be the greatest player to have ever lived – and he backs up his talent with some of the highest earnings in the world.

We still feel unnerved by referring to him as 'the PSG ace' or 'the former Barcelona man' but the Argentine superstar has landed an inevitably massive pay day from his move to PSG.

He was ready to sign a deal worth approximately £1.1m per week with Barcelona before tax, but after the Spanish side were unable to complete the deal due to La Liga financial rules, he was forced to leave the club he has spent a lifetime at.

Messi has now signed a deal worth £25m per year as a base salary after tax. That works out at approximately £50m per year before tax.

Once bonuses, signing-on fees and appearance fees are paid, Messi will be lifting a pay packet worth well above the million-a-week milestone, and that's before external sponsorships.

An extra £25m is added to his pot from endorsements and sponsorships with the likes of Adidas and Pepsi.

1. Kylian Mbappe (PSG) – £1,600,000 per week

The leader of the next generation, Kylian Mbappe is widely tipped to take over the mantle of football's pre-eminent superstar in the years to come.

The 22-year-old's permanent transfer from Monaco to PSG in 2018 remains the second most expensive in history and he has already plundered more than 100 goals for the club.

He confirmed his place among the best players on the planet by scoring four times as France won the 2018 World Cup, but flopped at the delayed Euro 2020 as he missed a decisive penalty, sending France home.

Mbappe recently signed the largest contract in the history of football that will see him rake in a mind-melting £1.6m every. single. week.

If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Sport hub for the latest news.

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