Football is a big-money business, with lots of money involved through several sources. One of the highest expenses that teams make is settling wage bills.
With a lot of cash on offer, clubs entice the best players in the world with huge salaries, among other add-ons.
It is not surprising, then, that the highest-paid football players in the world are some of the best in the sport.
Here, TOP SOCCER BLOG brings you the top 10 European football clubs with the highest wage bills in 2023.
1. PSG (€728 million)
With the plethora of superstar players at their behest, PSG have the highest wage bill among every other football club in the world.
Their players earn massive wages in comparison to other players at other clubs. The wages of their front three alone (Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe) costs the club more than €3m every week.
Kylian Mbappe reportedly earns £1 million per week, followed by Messi (£960,000) and Neymar (£606,000).
2. Real Madrid (€519 million)
Real Madrid tends to attract the best players in the world. The Blancos lure players not only with their rich history and prestige but with huge wages.
The Spanish club is one of the football clubs that have won the most trophies ever.
Far behind PSG and in second place is Real Madrid, with the Spanish giants having an estimated wage bill of €519 million.
Madrid are never shy when it comes to splashing the cash on talented players, be it transfer fees or wages.
Shockingly, Eden Hazard — who hardly plays — is currently the highest-paid player at Real Madrid, with the Belgian earning in the region of $31m per year.
The current UEFA Champions League holders also boast of several other big players in their squad, the likes of Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, Antonio Rudiger, Vinicius Junior, and Toni Kroos, among others. Having these players does not come cheap, though.
3. Barcelona (€466 million)
A few years ago, Barcelona were the football team with most debts in Europe, partly due to their enormous wage bills.
Despite losing Lionel Messi and selling the likes of Antoine Griezmann to free up their wage bill, Barcelona are still paying a lot of money in salaries.
The club activated financial levers to balance the books last summer, helping them to have the likes of Frenkie De Jong, Robert Lewandowski, Jules Koundé, Gavi, Andreas Christensen, and Raphinha in their squad.
However, veteran players like Sergio Busquets, Marc Andre ter Stegen and Jordi Alba, have been are said to still collect hefty salaries.
The highest-paid footballer at Barca is Lewandowski, who earns around $35m annually.
4. Manchester United (€454 million)
Manchester United are among the clubs who generate the most revenue in soccer, and as a result, they equally spend heavily to remain highly competitive against the best sides.
The Red Devils regularly offer the best wages in football to lure the best players and also to keep their most prized assets.
Hence, Man United boast of having some of the highest-paid players in the English Premier League in their squad. More so, their wage bill became much more bigger as each transfer window passes.
David de Gea (who earns £375,000 a week) is the highest-paid player at Man Utd, followed by Jadon Sancho (£350,000), Raphael Varane (£340,000), and Casemiro (£300,000).
Nevertheless, Manchester United also bring in a ton of revenue and are among the richest football clubs in the world.
5. Liverpool (€434 million)
Liverpool are among the most efficient football clubs in the world when it comes to financial planning.
They hardly waste resources and always spend judiciously. But the Reds can do whatever it takes to get a targeted player or to keep their most important stars.
Last summer, Liverpool broke their wage structure in order to keep hold of Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian was offered a very massive salary to stay put at Anfield.
Salah now takes home £400,000 per week, totaling around £31m ($35m) annually.
6. Manchester City (€418 million)
Manchester City are one of the highest spenders in the world of football, boasting of billionaire Arab owners from Abu Dhabi.
Since they acquired Man City, they risen to become one of the best football clubs in the world.
City rarely breaks the bank to sign up new players but offers one of the best wages to their players.
Their highest earner in 2023 is Erling Haaland, who rakes in a total of $39m annually.
The Norwegian striker is followed by Kevin De Bruyne who earns around $29m annually.
7. Chelsea (€403 million)
Over the last two decades, Chelsea have been renowned for always splashing the cash in terms of player acquisition as well as wage bills.
Their billionaire owner, Roman Abramovich, might have departed; but the new owners (Todd Boehly and co) seem even keen to outspend the Russian. The Blues have spent about €600m in just two transfer windows since the new owners took over!
Raheem Sterling leads the way at Chelsea in terms of salary, with a weekly wage of £325,000 (£16.9 million a year).
Did you know? Chelsea is one of the very few football clubs that have won everything.
8. Juventus (€336 million)
The Old Ladies are the football club with the highest wage bills in the Italian Serie A.
Although it is rumoured to be around €336,097,840 per year, it used to be more than that.
The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala significantly reduced Juventus’ wage bill, but the Old Lady is still among the top 10 European football clubs with the highest wage bill in 2023.
Serbian striker, Dusan Vlahovic, is the highest earner at Juve — with a salary of €249,231 per week and over €12m gross salary per year.
9. Bayern Munich (€324 million)
Bayern have the highest wage bill in the Bundesliga and are therefore among the top 10 European football clubs that pay the most salaries.
Nonetheless, despite boasting of star footballers like Sadio Mane, Manuel Neuer, Jamal Musiala, Leroy Sane, Thomas Muller, etc., Bayern Munich still has a fair wage bill. The Bundesliga giants are one of the most financially prudent sides in Europe.
The Bavarians rarely break the bank to sign players and are not afraid of losing stars who demand so much wages (Toni Kroos and David Alaba were allowed to leave on free transfers).
Last year’s summer signing, Sadio Mane, tops the list of Bayern’s highest earners, with the Senegalese earning about €22m annually.
Following Mane closely are Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane, and Joshua Kimmich, who are all earning around €20 million.
10. Athletico Madrid (€265 million)
Since 2010, Athletico Madrid have won 3 Europa League titles, reached 2 UEFA Champions League finals, and won the UEFA Cup and a La Liga.
Atletico’s steady rise into becoming a European giant also meant that the club increased its expenses. A new modern top-class stadium was built, and several top players were recruited.
Currently, Athletico boasts superstar players like Antoine Griezman, Rodrigo De Paul, Yannick Carrasco, Jan Oblak, and Alvaro Morata in their squad.
The highest-paid player at Atletico Madrid is goalkeeper Jan Oblak, who earns €400,000 per week.
In addition, Athletico Madrid coach, Diego Simeone is highest-paid football coach in the world.