How Soccer Players Get Paid (Full Guide)

Being a longtime fan of football doesn’t mean you should know how soccer players get paid. This is something that we don’t discuss often. Soccer fans are more concerned with the visual on-the-pitch discussions like the highest-scoring player, the best dribblers, the best players in the world, and the most expensive player, amongst others. 

Now the need to know how soccer players get paid has come up as folks have taken an interest in how the earnings of soccer players are derived.

It’s wise to know how they get paid, the criteria for their payment, and other packages. Meanwhile, before we proceed, it should be known that a footballer’s major source of payment is their club contract. 

They also have other side incomes from endorsements, contract bonuses, national games, and lots more. On that note, let’s see how soccer players get paid.

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1. Club Team Contracts 

Club contracts account for up to 70 to 80 percent of every footballer’s income. It is a no-brainer that there are many soccer clubs that hire the services of soccer players in various leagues all over the world.

Each of these clubs has a contract term that varies from the others. Likewise, the money a player will be paid varies from club to club and league to league. 

Professional soccer players can accumulate tens of millions of dollars or pounds in a year. Upcoming players can take in a few thousand dollars or pounds. These values vary from the amateur levels to the fully professional levels.

Professional players don’t only earn from their club games. They also earn from other tournaments they participate in. For instance, these soccer players earn some good money when they represent their national teams and more when they impress significantly. 

We’ve seen cases where national team players are promised a specified amount of money if they win tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup, Euros, AFCON, Copa America, and the like.

What Drives Up How Soccer Players Get Paid?

Soccer salaries are not regulated. So, there is always a bidding war between clubs for a particular footballer. This is not the case with other sports where player salaries are regulated and monitored.

A soccer player can be signed with $1 billion if the club values him at that price and there are clubs willing to part with such an amount to get his signature.

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Not All Club Contracts Are Worth Millions

Even as some clubs pay their players millions. Not all clubs can afford the salary of professional players. Like some clubs in MLS, some players earn below $100,000 a year. The Championship, League One, and League Two soccer levels in England also give credence to the fact that not all contracts are worth millions. 

This is also the case with clubs that have lost star players after being relegated and are on the hunt for new replacements to help them mount a push for promotion.

Women soccer players also receive good sums of money from their clubs although it is a far cry from what their male counterparts earn. 

Regardless, even women receive a good amount of money from clubs. Their minimum salary for the National Women’s Soccer League is $20,000. Some leagues that can’t afford up to that pay lesser to their players.

2. Bonuses 

This is another means a player can earn higher than his usual basic pay. Players are paid bonuses based on their performance in matches. 

Players can also be in agreement with a team to earn a bonus. Therefore, his ability and performance to help the team win matches earn more cash in his account. 

The problem with bonuses is it makes players struggle in games as most of them become hellbent on achieving the bonus rewards, sometimes to the detriment of their teams.

Professional players can get bonuses for their appearance, winning a championship, scoring a set number of goals, and many more. Players with huge awards tend to earn more bonuses than others. And that makes them competitive to sign by clubs in the open market.

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Some clubs offer what is called “Loyalty Bonuses”. These bonuses are given to new players to help them resist being signed by other big teams. With the bonus, new talented players are retained. 

3. National Team Payment 

National Team Payment is another source in which soccer players get paid. Players don’t only play for their home country for showoff but also for the payment and other entitlements that come with it. 

Some players can earn huge amounts of money if they’re picked for a World Cup tournament and also for winning it. However, the money and bonuses earned from national team games can’t be compared to club payments. That’s why you see some professional players who shun international games. 

The players who are not earning enough on club games because they’re upcoming can add more to their purses by playing for their national team. They can also get other packages like free-travel tickets, and meals, amongst others.

4. Endorsements 

Soccer players can earn through endorsement also. Professional players are often exposed to more endorsements offers than upcoming players. 

A player can have a singular sponsor paying him in millions. Having two or three more sponsors means more income to the player.

Some professional players have endorsement deals with big sports companies like Adidas or Nike. Even as clubs have their specified clothing producer, a player can have an endorsement company design and produce his sportswear. 

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5. Advertisement Deals 

Another source of income for soccer players is through advertisement deals. Companies looking to promote their products can sign a promotional deal with a top player. 

This will enhance the player’s income with just a few tasks for the company. Restaurants, beverages, wristwatches, and jewelry companies can sign an advertisement deal with a player.

All the player has to do is showcase and endorse the company’s products as their choice which can increase the company’s patronage. Players will also get free goodies with any advertisement deal signed. 

6. Appearances 

This goes in line with endorsement deals. Players will get appearance pay which varies according to their level. For a professional player to make a public speech or come to an event will cost a lot of money. 

Some event planners might have an upcoming player attend their event which won’t cost much. Appearance payments for players are done outside the club and it’s a personal deal for a player. The appearance payment is part of the income of a player.

Final Thoughts 

A significant number of professional soccer players earn a lot of money and this is a guarantee for the players who are ranked as the best in their generation.

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This is due to the different tournaments and competitions available for them to compete in with their clubs and national teams.

We’ve thrown significant light on the various means through which soccer players get paid. You can leverage this information and stand out as one of the elite soccer fans out there.