The Highest Paying Soccer Leagues In The World (Find Out Now)

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and has about 3.5 billion fans worldwide. Soccer has, therefore, also become a billion-dollar business in which players and clubs make an incredible amount of money.

But, what are the highest-paying soccer leagues in the world?

In this article, you will find out exactly which soccer leagues in the world pay the most. You will also find out which soccer clubs pay the most and which soccer players earn the most. But in addition, you will also read about the highest-paid soccer leagues in America, Europe, and Asia.

What Are The Highest Paying Soccer Leagues in The World? (Top 10)

Many people will not be surprised to find that European soccer leagues are the highest paying leagues in the world.

With over 131 million fans across the U.K, Spain, Germany, France, and Italy, soccer is the most popular sport in Europe by some distance.

This has resulted in all the best players across the globe wanting to play their soccer in Europe.

Not too unlike how basketball players from all around the world aim to play in the NBA, for example.

With all this in mind, it’s no surprise to see the European soccer leagues dominating this top 10 list of the world’s highest-paying soccer leagues.

1. Premier League (England)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$32.228$1.675.842$45.828.237$2.383,068.318

As you can see, England’s Premier League is the highest-paying soccer league in the world.

This reflects the popularity of the Premier League, as it is the most-watched soccer league in the world.

The Premier League brings in $3.89 billion in television revenue worldwide. This is why the league can pay its players so highly.

With an average weekly wage of $32.228, the Premier League is by far the highest-paying soccer league in the world.

This is almost double the number two in this list.

With their total annual wage bill of $2.383.068.318, the Premier League is the only league in the world that pays two billion-plus in player salaries per year and has a lead of nearly $400 million over number two Italy.

Highest paying Premier League club:

ClubTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Manchester United$5.177.850$269.248.227

Manchester United is the highest-paying Premier League club.

The annual wage bill of $269.248.227 is $46 million more than the second-highest paying club, Chelsea.

Highest paid Premier League player:

PlayerTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Cristiano Ronaldo$604.154$31.416.028

Of all the Premier League stars, Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest-paid player. This lines up with his club, Manchester United, also being the highest paying club in the league.

Cristiano Ronaldo earns a weekly salary of $604.154, which amounts to a whopping $31.416.028 annually.

2. Serie A (Italy)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$16.210$842.924$32.562.477$1.693.248.819

Somewhat surprisingly, Italy’s Serie A is the world’s second-highest paying soccer league, with a total annual wage of $1.693.248.819.

This is surprising as Serie A has now fallen to the fourth most-watched league in Europe, despite it once being the second.

Having said that, Serie A is still a massive distance behind the Premier League in terms of pay.

With an average weekly wage of $16.210, this is nearly half that of the Premier League’s average weekly wage.

Interestingly, Serie A has a much lower average weekly wage than the third-placed La Liga, despite having a much bigger wage bill overall.

Highest paying Serie A club:

ClubTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Juventus$3.520.882$183.085.887

Juventus is the highest-paying club in Serie A. This shouldn’t come as a shock, given that Italy’s best players usually play for Juventus.

Juventus are also well-known for signing superstar names from outside of Italy. 

Players such as Zinedine Zidane, Edgar Davids, and Cristiano Ronaldo have all played for Italy’s biggest club in the past.

Highest paid Serie A player:

PlayerTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Paulo Dybala$279.268$14.521.947

The highest-paid player in Italy is currently Paulo Dybala.

The Argentinian currently plays for Juventus, who are also the highest paying club in the league.

Paulo Dybala earns a weekly salary of $279.268, which amounts to $14.521.947 annually.

3. La Liga (Spain)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$51.443$2.675.063$27.975.199$1.454.710.329

Spain’s La Liga is the third highest paying league with a total annual wage bill of $1.454.710.329 and an average weekly wage of $51.443.

La Liga is currently the second most-watched soccer league in the world.

With two soccer giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona, competing in La Liga, you may be wondering why La Liga isn’t higher on this list.

The main reason for this is the fact that La Liga is one of the only soccer leagues to enforce a wage cap.

Although this wage cap is not as strict as most other sports, it was still enough to stop Barcelona from re-signing the highest-paid player in the world, Lionel Messi, in 2021.

Highest paying La Liga club:

ClubTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Real Madrid$5.846.798$304.021.389

Real Madrid is the highest paying club in La Liga, with a total annual wage bill of $304.021.389.

Although La Liga isn’t the highest paying league in the world, Real Madrid still pays more than any team in the Premier League.

It’s worth noting that La Liga’s salary cap differs between each club depending on how much money they bring in.

This is why Real Madrid is able to have such a high wage bill.

Highest paid La Liga player:

PlayerTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Eden Hazard$477.756$24.843.356

For many years in La Liga, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were the highest-paid players in the league.

Now that both players have departed Spain, the highest-paid player in La Liga is now Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard.

Eden Hazard earns a weekly salary of $477.756, which means he earns $24.843.356 annually.

4. Bundesliga (Germany)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$36.119$1.878.160$21.702.186$1.128.513.693

Germany’s Bundesliga is the fourth highest-paying league in soccer, with a total annual wage bill of $1.128.513.693.

The Bundesliga is the fifth most-watched soccer league in Europe and is home to one of the world’s best teams, Bayern München.

There are a few reasons why the Bundesliga can’t compete with the top three leagues in terms of total pay.

One reason is that Bayern München is the only club that can afford to compete with Europe’s best teams in terms of paying superstar players.

While other German teams, such as Borussia Dortmund, tend to buy young and cheap players and then sell them at a high price.

It’s also worth noting that only 18 teams are competing in the Bundesliga, compared to 20 teams in the top three leagues.

Highest paying Bundesliga club:

ClubTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Bayern München$3.990.870$207.512.048

Bayern München is, of course, the highest paying club in the Bundesliga.

With a total annual wage bill of $207.512.048, other German clubs simply can’t compete at that price.

The closest team is Borussia Dortmund, with a total annual wage bill of $124.449.515, followed by VFL Wolfsburg with a total annual wage bill of $74.063.655.

As you can see, it’s not even close.

Highest paid Bundesliga player:

PlayerTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Robert Lewandowski$412.538$21.451.977

The highest-paid player in the Bundesliga is Robert Lewandowski. 

The Bayern München striker earns a total annual wage of $21.451.977.

5. Ligue 1 (France)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$10.725$557.688$16.461.973$856.022.602

Ligue 1 is one of the fastest-growing soccer leagues in Europe, and the pay is starting to reflect that.

With a total annual wage bill of $856.022.602, the French league is now the fifth-highest paying soccer league in the world.

The majority of these figures, however, are due to Paris Saint-Germain’s high spending over the past few years. 

Highest paying Ligue 1 club:

ClubTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Paris Saint-Germain$6.273.167$326.204.691

Paris Saint-Germain is by far the highest paying club in France, as well as all of Europe.

With a total annual wage bill of $326.204.691, PSG pays more than five times the amount of any other French team.

Olympique Lyon is second with a total annual wage bill of $60.587.337.43.

PSG is one of the world’s richest soccer clubs, accounting for nearly 40% of Ligue 1’s total wages.

Highest paid Ligue 1 player:

PlayerTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Lionel Messi$1.253.360$65.172.120

Lionel Messi is the highest-paid player in Ligue 1, with a total annual wage bill of $65.172.120.

This makes Lionel Messi the world’s highest-paid soccer player.

6. Chinese Super League (China)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$13.255$689.222$15.182.809$789.506.058

The Chinese Super League is the highest-paying soccer league outside of Europe and the sixth-highest paying league in the world.

The Chinese Super League is the youngest league on this list, only started in 2004.

In an attempt to compete with European leagues, the Chinese Super League mostly targets older star players who can no longer compete in top European leagues.

Highest paying Chinese Super League club:

ClubTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Guangzhou Evergrande$757.090$39.368.680

Guangzhou Evergrande is the highest paying team in the Chinese Super League, with a total annual wage bill of $39.368.680.

Although this is still a lot of money, Lionel Messi is paid nearly double this amount by himself.

This shows the huge financial gap between Europe’s top five leagues and the rest of the world.

Highest paid Chinese Super League player:

PlayerTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Alex Teixeira$244.203$12.697.602

Brazilian midfielder Alex Teixeira is the highest-paid player in the Chinese Super League, with a total annual wage bill of $12.697.602.

7. EFL Championship (England)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$6.601$343.253$9.459.347$491.886.029

The biggest proof of how popular soccer is in England is just how much money is spent in England’s secondary soccer league.

The EFL Championship has a total annual wage bill of $491.886.029, making it the seventh-highest paying league in the world.

It is also, of course, the highest-paying secondary soccer division in the world.

It’s also worth noting that 24 teams play in this league, meaning more money is being paid overall.

Highest paying EFL Championship club:

ClubTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Watford$977.249$50.816.682

With Premier League clubs being relegated to the EFL Championship every season, the highest paying club will often vary from season to season.

Currently, the highest paying club in the EFL Championship is Watford, with a total annual wage bill of $50.816.682.

Highest paid EFL Championship player:

PlayerTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Danny Drinkwater$150.300$7.815.600

Danny Drinkwater for Reading was the highest-paid player in the 2021/22 EFL Championship season.

It’s worth pointing out that he was on loan from Chelsea, who likely still covered a lot of that wage bill.

8. Süper Lig (Turkey)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$11.829$861.871$7.809.490$465.397.429

The Süper Lig in Turkey is the world’s eighth highest paying soccer league, with a total annual wage bill of $406.093.476.

Highest paying Süper Lig club:

ClubTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Besiktas$1.078.456$56.079.749

Besiktas are one of the few Turkish teams who often find themselves playing in European competitions, therefore earning extra television revenue.

This is likely the main reason why they have more money to spend than other teams in the Turkish league.

Highest paid Süper Lig player:

PlayerTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Miralem Pjanić$133.583$6.947.182

The former Juventus and Barcelona midfielder was the highest-paid player in the Süper Lig during the 2021/22 season.

The Besiktas player was on loan from Barcelona, and it is believed Barcelona may have still paid part of these wages.

9. Saudi Professional League (Saudi Arabia)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$16.574$861.871$7.809.490$406.093.476

The ninth highest-paying soccer league in the world is the Saudi Professional League from Saudi Arabia.

Highest paying Saudi Professional League club:

ClubTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Al-Hilal$941.230$48.943.999

The highest paying club in the Saudi Professional League is Al-Hilal, with a total annual wage bill of $48.943.999

Highest paid Saudi Professional League player:

PlayerTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Éver Banega$219.881$11.433.822

Although Al-Hilal is the highest paying team, Al-Shabab’s Éver Banega gets paid the highest in the Saudi Professional League.

10. Russian Premier League (Russia)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$6.343$329.824$6.543.165$340.244.599

The Russian Premier League completes the top 10 highest paying soccer leagues by becoming the tenth highest paying league in the world.

Highest paying Russian Premier League club:

ClubTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Zenit St. Petersburg$836.135$43.466.881

The highest paying club in the Russian Premier League is Zenit St. Petersburg, with a total annual wage bill of $43.466.881.

Highest paid Russian Premier League player:

PlayerTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
Malcom$133.581$6.946.654

The Brazilian forward Malcom is the highest-paid player in the Russian Premier League.

The former Barcelona player earns a total annual wage bill of $6.946.654.

The Highest Paying Soccer Leagues in Europe (Top 5)

The best-paid soccer leagues in Europe consist of the same European leagues as the best-paid soccer leagues in the world.

Therefore, I will not explain them further here.

However, I have listed them to give you a clear overview of the best-paid soccer leagues in Europe.

1. Premier League (England)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$32.228$1.675.842$45.828.237$2.383,068.318

2. Serie A (Italy)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$16.210$842.924$32.562.477$1.693.248.819

3. La Liga (Spain)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$51.443$2.675.063$27.975.199$1.454.710.329

4. Bundesliga (Germany)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$36.119$1.878.160$21.702.186$1.128.513.693

5. Ligue 1 (France)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$10.725$557.688$16.461.973$856.022.602

The Highest Paying Soccer Leagues in America (Top 4)

So now we know that European soccer leagues dominate the world when it comes to paying players, but what about America?

What are the highest paying American soccer leagues?

1. Major League Soccer (United States)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$7.109$369.689$4.990.165$259.488.582

With a total annual wage bill of $259.488.582, The United States’ MLS is the highest paying soccer league of all the American countries.

In fact, the MLS only just misses out on being in the worldwide top 10. They are currently the 11th highest-paying soccer league in the world.

2. Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (Brazil)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$3.220$167.451$4.674.466$243.072.207

The second highest paying team in all of America is Brazil’s Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.

Although the average wage for players in this league is nearly half that of the MLS, there isn’t too much difference in the total annual wage bill of both these top soccer leagues.

3. Argentine Primera División (Argentina)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$2.139$111.264$4.450.739$231.438.413

The Argentine Primera División is the third highest paying league in America, with a total annual wage bill of $231.438.413.

4. Liga MX (Mexico)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$4.464$232.128$3.798.821$197.538.711

Mexico’s Liga MX is the fourth highest-paying soccer league in America.

Despite having higher average player wages than the Brazilian and Argentine leagues, Liga MX still pays a much lower overall wage bill per season.

This could be due to the Mexican league only having 18 teams compared to Brazil’s 20 teams and Argentina’s 28 teams.

The Highest Paying Soccer Leagues in Asia (Top 5)

Now that you know the highest-paying leagues throughout Europe and America let’s find out what the highest-paying soccer leagues in Asia are.

1. Chinese Super League (China)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$13.255$689.222$15.182.809$789.506.058

With a total annual wage bill of $789.506.058, the Chinese Super League is not only the highest paying league in Asia but also the highest outside of Europe.

2. Saudi Professional League (Saudi Arabia)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$16.574$861.871$7.809.490$406.093.476

The Saudi Professional League from Saudi Arabia is the second highest paying soccer league in Asia, with a total annual wage bill of $406.093.476, nearly half that of the Chinese Super League.

3. Indian Super League (India)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$1.831$95.170$550.221$28.611.473

The Indian Super League is the third highest-paying soccer league in Asia. 

However, they barely pay a fraction of what the Chinese and Saudi leagues pay their players.

To put into context how little this league pays compared to other leagues, Lionel Messi is paid more than double that of the entire Indian Super League combined!

4. Thai League 1 (Thailand)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$632$32.889$291.519$15.158.973

With a total annual wage bill of $15.158.973, the Thai League 1 of Thailand is the fourth-highest paying soccer league in Asia.

Just like the Indian league, there are a lot of European superstars being paid more than this entire league combined.

5. I-League (India)

Average weekly wageAverage annual wageTotal weekly wage billTotal annual wage bill
$359$18.701$134.220$6.979.428

The fifth highest-paying soccer league in Asia is surprisingly India’s secondary division, the I-League.

With the top-tier Indian Super League not being able to compete financially with others and this second-tier league only having 12 teams, it’s not surprising to see such a low total wage bill of $6.979.428.

Conclusion

To summarize, the European soccer leagues are lightyears ahead of most other leagues regarding paying players.

The English Premier League is the highest-paying soccer league in the world.

Only the Chinese Super League and the Saudi Professional League can somewhat compete with European leagues such as La Liga in Spain and Serie A in Italy.

(All earnings figures sourced from Salary Sports & OLBG)

James Miller

Soccer has been my passion since I was a kid. After my own career, I became a coach, something I have been doing for 15 years now. Sharing my knowledge about soccer is what I love most. So I hope you can appreciate my articles.
Published: 
June 10, 2022
Published: June 10, 2022