Forbes has recently named Lionel Messi as the world’s highest-earning football player of 2018. The American publication has estimated his annual total earnings at $111 million from June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018, before fees and taxes. Transfer fees haven’t been included in the computation.
Despite his team’s defeat against France in the recent FIFA World Cup semi final match (4-3, France vs Argentina), Messi managed to outrank Cristiano Ronaldo in earning figures. Ronaldo had been the top-ranking footballer for the last three years but this year, he was $3M behind Messi, raking in only $108 million for the last 12 months.
Messi, a fifth-time Ballon d'Or winner (or FIFA World Player award winner), banked big endorsement deals from giant German design company, Adidas, and new-generation Spanish sunglasses, Hawkers.
While doing my research for this post, I stumbled upon a handy tool that helps average wage earners worldwide compare their yearly earnings with the wages of highest-ranking FIFA players. The free tool was designed by BBC Sport for avid football fans.
You simply need to enter your yearly salary, country of origin, and then, it immediately gives you a visual comparison of your earnings versus any of the world's top footballers. Of course, I chose to compare my measly annual salary with Lionel Messi’s earnings.
Within a few seconds, the calculator revealed the cold truth: it would take Messi only six minutes to earn my weekly wage. Yes, six minutes! Further, the tool determined the number of years it would take me to earn Messi's annual wage: 1691 years. Biologically impossible, I’m aware.
The stark disparity between Messi’s and my earnings, while unsurprising, was still disheartening. Now’s the right time to remind myself of some helpful lines from Max Ehrmann's Desiderata: "If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself."
But why do I have a feeling you would still want to use this comparison tool? Even after sharing my dissatisfaction, I know you’d still want to sate your curiosity and run the calculation. Well, if you decide to do that, I can’t stop you. So, go for it.