Barcelona breaks record with £10m per player

Score: Barcelona’s wages have risen by a third in just one year.

Are footballers paid too much? Barcelona is the first team in history to pay each player an average of £10 million a year. That is enough for 450 nurses or 510 primary school teachers.

What’s happening

£10 million. That is the mean average wage of Barcelona’s football players, according to this year’s Global Sports Salary Survey (GSS). This is partly because Lionel Messi now earns a whopping £50 million a year, more than any other player alive. His high wage brings up the average for the whole team.

Find out more

Although Spain has the highest paid team, footballers in England’s Premier League are paid more overall. Players in English clubs earn a mean average of £3 million each. That is around £55,700 per week, double what the average UK worker earns in a year. That is just the basic salary; footballers earn more on top of that in bonuses and sponsorship deals.

Manchester United is the Premier League’s highest paid team, with a mean average yearly salary of £6.5 million per player. The team’s striker, Alexis Sanchez, earns £315,000 each week.

However, no English club comes close to Barcelona’s £10 million per year average. Just one of those salaries would be enough to pay for 450 new nurses in the UK for a year, or 510 new teachers.

Do footballers earn too much money?

Some say…

Yes. It is scandalous how much money some men can be paid for kicking a ball around a field. They are not saving lives. They are not even helping people. It would be better to give all that money to charity instead. Besides, no one needs £10 million or more per year to live a good life. That comes from your family and friends (who are free!).

Others think…

Footballers deserve to be paid well. Football is a very popular sport, and high wages help to attract the best players to the biggest clubs. Plus, extremely talented players like Messi and Sanchez are very rare. There are only a handful of them in the whole world, so why shouldn’t they earn millions for their skills? They have earned it.

You Decide

  1. Can money make you happy?


  1. If Alexis Sanchez earns £315,000 per week, how much does he earn in one year?

Some People Say...

“Money doesn’t thrill me or make me play better.”

Lionel Messi

What do you think?

Word Watch

Mean average
This is calculated by dividing the total of a set of values by the number of values in that set. (In this case, all of a club’s 23 players’ wages are added together and divided by 23.)
Wage, the money earned from a job.
Extremely big.
Premier League
England’s top football league.
Extra one-off payments.
Being paid to promote a company’s products.
Also called a forward.
Something that causes shock or outrage.


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