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How much do top men and women soccer players earn?

U.S. Soccer has ratified a new CBA guaranteeing equal pay for the men’s and women’s national soccer teams, but the gender pay gap in the sport remains huge.

Gidget Alikpala
U.S. Soccer has ratified a new collective bargaining agreement that will guarantee equal pay for the men’s and women’s national soccer teams.

It’s a big day for women in sports. The U.S. Soccer Federation has ratified collective bargaining agreements with the unions of the men’s and women’s soccer teams that guarantee equal pay for the two camps.

One giant bone of contention had been World Cup bonuses, and the new agreement has ironed this out.

World Cup money issue resolved

The three parties have agreed to pool and distribute a portion of prize money earned for the teams’ participation in the tournament.

The agreement also states that players of each team will be making the same amount from the total prize money paid when the two teams take part in the same competition.

The new CBA takes effect on June 1 and will run through the whole of 2028.

This is a giant leap for women athletes, one which both acknowledges and addresses the gaping chasm between the pay of men and women in sports.

Multi-millionaire stars of men’s soccer

However, there are still miles to go before this gigantic gap in the pay between men and women soccer players all over the world becomes much narrower.

Male soccer athletes are some of the best paid players in the world, which is why the salaries of women in the same sport look particularly small in comparison.

According to Forbes, three of the five highest-paid athletes in the world in 2022 are soccer players.

Sitting at number one is Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain, who tallied $130 million in gross earnings before taxes over the past year. Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United is at third place with total earnings of $115 million, while Neymar, also of Paris Saint-Germain, follows at spot number four with $95 million.

The numbers for the three are a combination of on-field and off-field income, which includes sponsorships, sales of memorabilia, and cash returns from businesses.

Earlier figures released by Forbes put Ronaldo in first place, but despite this slight shift in ranking, the million-dollar figures remain impressive.

Here is Forbes’ list of top ten highest-paid soccer players from last year.

1Cristiano Ronaldo$125 million
2Lionel Messi$110 million
3Neymar$95 million
4Kylian Mbappe$43 million
5Mohamed Salah$41 million
6Robert Lewandowski$35 million
7Andres Iniesta$35 million
8Paul Pogo$34 million
9Gareth Bale$32 million
10Eden Hazard$29 million

No million-dollar payouts for women

Meanwhile, the top women soccer players earn merely a fraction of these staggering amounts. No female soccer player has yet recorded annual earnings reaching seven figures.

According to, Carli Lloyd of the U.S. is the highest-paid player, earning $518,000 last year. Australian Samantha Kerr is at number two with an income of $500,000 annually, while American Alex Morgan is at third place with a total of $450,000.

Here is the list of top ten women earners in soccer last year.

1Carli Lloyd$518,000
2Samantha Kerr$500,000
3Alex Morgan$450,000
4Megan Rapinoe$447,000
5Julie Ertz$430,000
6Ada Hegerberg$425,000
7Marta Vieira da Silva$400,000
8Amandine Henry$394,500
9Wendi Fox$392,000
10Christine Sinclair$380,000

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