Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, and Manchester United is the world’s most valuable sports team in the world. Usually this translates to a lot of money being made by the teams, and that money usually trickles down to the players. Seeing as soccer fans pack stadiums like no other, and televised games draw massive audiences, do soccer players actually have a chance of getting rich?
One way to determine how much a player is paid depends on his skill level and what league he plays in. Players in MLS, the American top soccer league, make maybe 20,000-30,000 dollars a year to play if they are playing in a larger market. Last season, the New York Red Bulls team salary was just over 446,000 dollars. Ronaldo himself will be making over 10 million this season. Most players in top leagues like La Liga, or Serie A in Italy command almost 2 million a year on average.
On average, a soccer player makes about 300,000 dollars a year. This seems like a nice salary, but compared to other sports, it is a fraction of that money. The average salary in Major League Baseball is around 3 million dollars a season, just over 1 million dollars in the NFL and around 2 million dollars in the NHL.
Clearly, the money from playing soccer is to be made in Brazil or in Europe. The reason is that the soccer teams in the rest of the world just don’t make enough money to support paying too much in salary. Players don’t want to play in countries like the US because the competition isn’t good enough, and fans don’t want to pay enormous prices for tickets because the players aren’t as good and most Americans spend their money on American football.
Teams like England’s Manchester United are the New York Yankees of soccer. They will spend as much as they need to win. Lately, Manchester City has come in and started to play the role of the Red Sox spending almost as much to be the underdog that is tormented no longer. Manchester United just recently offered midfielder Wesly Sneijder 140,000 dollars a week along with a 35 million dollar fee to acquire him.
Endorsements also come into play as factors that influence a soccer player’s total salary. While David Beckham might be living comfortably on his 6.5 million dollar a year salary, he makes even more millions doing movies and other product endorsements. Players from Europe and Brazil also get commercial and apparel deals from companies like Nike.
Soccer players have a wide range of salaries depending on where they play and who they are. A top player can easily demand 10 million or more a year with teams also willing to pay as much as 50 million dollars just to acquire these top players. Can a soccer player dream of getting rich? Of course he can, as long as he isn’t playing in Houston or Chicago instead of England or Spain.