Footballers and their ever increasing wages in the beautiful game remains an interesting topic. As a result, L'Equipe's recent revelation comes as a blessing, with the well-known French magazine detailing the highest-paid professionals in Europe's top five leagues.
Unlike in other reports which break wages down by weekly basis, L'Equipe unveiled the highest gross monthly salaries in the likes of La Liga, the Premier League, Ligue 1, Serie A, and the Bundesliga. To no one's surprise, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the two greatest footballers of this generation, and arguably the best of all time, rank among the continent's highest earners.
However, one is not even his respective league's highest-paid player. So who pockets the most amount of money in Europe's biggest championships? Here's everything you need to know.
The Premier League's highest earners and the Manchester United conundrum
Given that the Premier League is the most popular league in the world, it comes as little surprise to see the English top-flight dish out the high wages. Additionally, it does not come as a huge shock to see Cristiano Ronaldo top of the list, with the iconic Portuguese attacker earning a gross salary of €2.63M per month. However, what is eye-catching is how dominant Manchester United are on this list.
As per L'Equipe, four of the five highest earners in the Premier League are from Old Trafford. Additionally, of the four, three were signed last summer, including CR7, with the other two being Jadon Sancho in fourth (€1.85M) and Raphael Varane (€1.62M) in fifth. This will be alarming to Red Devils fans as the 20-time English champions continue to pay huge transfer fees and exuberant wages yet are miles away from challenging for the league crown.
In second is none other than Kevin de Bruyne, with the Manchester City ace earning €2.06M per month, shortly behind Cristiano. In third is Manchester United's final representative David de Gea, with the Spanish shot-stopper pocketing €1.93M.
Ligue 1's highest-paid players and why the anger from PSG's disgruntled fans is justified
Wondering why PSG fans turned on their own players after the club's embarrassing UEFA Champions League exit? Look no further than Ligue 1's list of highest-paid footballers, with the Paris giants occupying all but two of the top 20 slots. Yes, the players, namely Lionel Messi and Neymar, aren't the only ones who should shoulder the blame – sporting director Leonardo and head coach Pochettino played their part. However, fans are understandably upset with that performance at the Bernabeu given the big bucks paid out monthly.
In fact, the top three highest-paid players in the French top-flight – Neymar, Lionel Messi, and Kylian Mbappe respectively – out-earn all but two players in Europe's other top five leagues. Neymar (€4.08M per month) and Leo (€3.4M per month) are paid more than any other names to make L'Equipe list, regardless of the league, with only Mbappe (€2.22M) pocketing slightly less money per month than Cristiano and Gerard Pique, the Premier League's and La Liga's highest-paid men respectively.
Marquinhos and Marco Verratti (€1.2M each) complete the top five list while Monaco duo Ben Yedder (€650,000) and Fabregas (€600,000) are the only non-PSG players to make the top 20, coming in at 15th and 18th respectively.
The highest-paid players in Serie A, Bundesliga, and La Liga
Serie A, once seen as Europe's most prestigious league, unsurprisingly find themselves lagging behind. Juventus ace Paulo Dybala sits in number one with €1.13M while only three other players reach the €1M+ per month mark and they are all from the Bianconeri (Szczesny, Bonucci, and January signing Dusan Vlahovic).
Similar to PSG in Ligue 1, Bayern Munich also enjoy a dominance in the Bundesliga, with all five off the top earners in the German championship plying their trade at the Allianz Arena, starting from first-placed Robert Lewandowski (€2M) to fifth-placed Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman, and Lucas Hernandez (€1.41M per month each).
And finally, we have La Liga, a league which once dished out unrivaled wages to the likes of Messi, Suarez, Neymar, and Cristiano. However, while the no.1 spot is still held by a Barcelona player, it is no longer a superstar attacker, with center-back Gerard Pique (€2.33M) instead topping the list. Two out-of-favor Real Madrid men, Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard, are tied for second, earning €2.27M each while Blaugrana icon Sergio Busquets (€1.91M) comes in at fourth. David Alaba and Antoine Griezmann both pocket €1.88M every four weeks and are thus tied for fifth.