Comparing the Earnings of Soccer Players Across the Globe: A Full Guide

18th January 2023

Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, and it’s no surprise that soccer players are some of the highest-paid athletes. But what may come as a surprise is that there are huge discrepancies between how much money different soccer players make depending on where they play. Different factors contribute to these discrepancies, including different levels of competition and TV deals. In this article, we’ll explore the differences in how much soccer players earn depending on where they play and what factors influence those earnings.


1. Major League Soccer (MLS) Rookies

The typical wage for an MLS rookie ranges from $50,000 to $70,000 annually, depending on how much experience they bring to the team. The average base MLS rookie salary for an experienced player can be up to five times higher than what a rookie earns. However, bonuses and incentives can also add significantly to overall earnings if performance targets are met or exceeded during the season.


These wages can be significantly higher or lower, depending on the individual team and its roster. For example, teams like the LA Galaxy can offer salaries up to $1 million per year for top players, while other teams may only be able to offer rookies around $50,000 annually.


2. La Liga

In recent years, many international soccer stars have moved from Europe to play for Spanish teams in La Liga. The country’s top league offers some of the highest salaries in the world, with star players earning millions of dollars each year. The highest-paid player in La Liga is Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, earning an estimated $45 million each year playing for Juventus. While the higher salaries in Spain can be attractive to many soccer players, it’s important to note that they are often offset by the high cost of living in cities like Madrid and Barcelona.


3. Premier League

The English Premier League is another extremely competitive and popular league that draws top talent worldwide. Like La Liga, player salaries in the Premier League can be quite high; however, unlike La Liga, a salary cap can limit how much top players can earn. Many of the top teams in the Premier League also have lucrative TV deals, which contribute to their earnings.


4. TV Deals

Aside from player salaries, another major factor that influences earnings in soccer is the amount of money that teams receive from TV deals. In some countries like England and Spain, TV deals are a major source of income for teams in the league, which can contribute to even more significant differences in earnings between players. Premier League clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool earn more than $100 million yearly from their TV deals, while MLS teams like the LA Galaxy only make around $6 million.


Despite differences in player salaries across various leagues and countries, soccer is still a very lucrative career for many talented athletes who can make it to the top. Whether you’re playing for an MLS team in the United States or a Premier League club in England, if you’re able to perform well and maintain your level of success, it is possible to earn a very comfortable living as a professional soccer player.