Footballers’ finances are one of our generation’s greatest enigmas.
The sportsmen shoulder the hopes and expectations of thousands each time they step out onto the pitch, and display an overwhelming athletic prowess as they play a pivotal part in a billion-dollar football industry. Undoubtedly.
But their weekly salaries will make you cry as though you were watching David Beckham’s final five minutes on the pitch for PSG – or as though you were comparing the sums to the annual earnings of the average female footballer. Just saying.
Sportsmail’s exclusive extracts from German book Football Leaks: The Dirty Business of Football have revealed the salaries of a few fan favourites, from Gareth Bale to Cristiano Ronaldo.
Christiano Ronaldo was once paid £920,000 for four-and-a-half hours of work, by a Saudi telecoms firm.
Ronaldo’s Irish image rights company, Multisports & Image Management, agreed upon the contracted payment for just a half day’s work in 2013, which bought the Saudi company a photo-shoot, five signed shirts and two guaranteed mentions on Ronaldo’s social media feed.
In 2015, Gestitfute, the firm owned by his agent Jorge Mendes, calculated Ronaldo’s total worth and assets to be £190million.
Football Leaks: The Dirty Business of Football also lists the network of companies Ronaldo utilises in Panama, Switzerland, Bermuda, Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands.
These help Ronaldo legally minimise the hefty tax bill he’ll face thanks to his overseas sponsorship earnings, a significant portion of which he generously donates to charities, his fans, and his local Bugatti dealerships.
The book in question, Football Leaks: The Dirty Business of Football , was written by Der Spiegel journalists Rafael Buschmann and Michael Wulzinger, in co-ordination with the Football Leaks.
These revelations come after FIFA have announced a probe into Paul Pogba’s fee for his move from Juventus to Manchester United.
They don’t call it the beautiful – and reassuringly expensive – game for nothing.