Football is big business. Fans may baulk at terms like “brand” and “product,” but football’s unparalleled global popularity makes it a highly lucrative commercial market. Multi-million euro TV deals and the influx of billionaire investors have made football more valuable than ever.
Takeovers are almost a weekly occurrence, teams routinely splurge millions on big-name signings, and the plays themselves are among the highest-paid sportsmen in the world. Money has never been so relevant to football.
The biggest clubs in the world are blessed with almost limitless riches, and the world’s best players have never been so well paid. Few could begrudge Lionel Messi’s €10.5 million salary. The Argentine is the finest player of his generation, and his talents have been instrumental in Barcelona’s recent domination of world football. Similarly, Carlos Tevez’s importance to Manchester City more than justifies his €8 million-a-year deal, but what of those less worthy?
Overpaid players will always be a part of football for as long as there’s so much money in the game. Financial Fair Play may force clubs to tighten their purse strings and decrease their wage bills, but today’s football is still populated by those whose contribution to the game pales in comparison to their salary.
Here are the 10 most overpaid players in world football as defined by current form and their present relevance to the game.