The Brazilian surpassed Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo when it comes to weekly salary by joining Paris Saint-Germain this summer
Neymar might not have even touched the halfway point in his footballing career but is already among the best-paid and most marketable athletes on the planet.
The PSG star turned 26 in 2018 and has already scored over 250 goals at club level and hit a half-century for his country, with his decision to leave Barcelona for Paris making him the highest earner in European football.
The former Santos starlet is well on his way to becoming one of the wealthiest sportsmen of his era, but how do his earnings stack up when compared to the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo today?
Article continues below
Juve on alert: Exiled Icardi may have already played his final game for Inter Sarri vindicated for dropping Kepa as Chelsea & Pedro impress in Spurs win Magnificent Mane takes centre stage as league leaders Liverpool put on a five-star show Lukaku sends reminder that his Man Utd career is far from over
According to information uncovered by Football Leaks, Neymar is the second-highest current earner in world football behind Carlos Tevez.
Neymar earns an astonishing €36.8 million a year at Parc des Princes, which works out at over €700,000 a week.
That dwarfs the €300,000-a-week deal he signed with Barca in 2016 and moves him comfortably ahead of Ronaldo and Messi, even if we take into account the pay rise the latter is said to be receiving in the new deal at Camp Nou he signed last November.
Tevez cashed in on the gold rush in the Chinese Super League in 2017 and was, for a time at least, the only player who topped Neymar’s salary. He was said to be earning €38.4m a year at Shanghai Shenhua before returning to Boca Juniors in January 2018.
In 2016, Forbes estimated Neymar’s earnings from endorsements at $21 million (€18m) annually, making him – based on his Barca salary at the time – the only active footballer earning more money off the pitch than on it.
Whereas Ronaldo and Messi’s endorsements at that point accounted for 36% and 34% of their income respectively, Neymar’s accounted for 61% of his pay.
That has changed now he has joined PSG but still speaks to his status as a marketing heavyweight – largely because of his huge presence in Brazil, where he appears on just about every product you can think of.
Whereas Messi has not always been as popular as you might expect in Argentina and Ronaldo comes from Portugal, a much smaller country, Neymar is an idol to 200 million.
Some of his many sponsorship deals include partnerships with Nike, Gillette, Beats Electronics and Red Bull.
Neymar has turned his hand to a few endeavours other than playing football, including appearing in the new ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ movie and releasing his own emojis for download.
Neymar has opened the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr in a neighbourhood he spent part of his childhood in, Jardim Gloria, in the city of Praia Grande.
It is a facility that aims to help transform the lives of poorer children in the region through educational, artistic and sporting initiatives that aid their development and give them a chance to reach their full potential. The complex currently serves 2,470 such kids and their families.
“I could not come to Brazil and not visit [the institute],” Neymar said last year during a trip home to attend his sister’s birthday party in March. “It is my family’s dream and I am always happy every time I visit. It makes me want to keep growing this and doing this the right way.”
Recent estimates put Neymar’s net worth at around €110m, which is a rise from the €90m figure reported prior to his record move to Paris. It is still considerably less than Ronaldo
But that is still an impressive figure for his age and, considering his earning power, should continue to rise.
His status on the pitch and enduring popularity, particularly in Brazil, off it should ensure that the former Santos prodigy follows in the footsteps of his rivals and goes on to become one of the richest players of his generation.