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Cristiano Ronaldo, unhappy and underpaid
by Paul Kennedy, September 4th, 2012 8:50PM

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TAGS:  soccer business, spain


[MONEY MATTERS] On Day 2 since Cristiano Ronaldo revealed that he did not celebrate the two goals he scored for Real Madrid Sunday against Granada because he was unhappy, he admitted he is still "feeling sad'' at Real Madrid but denied it was over money. Nonetheless, CR7 ranks only 10th in world in terms of annual net annual salary and makes exactly one-half what Samuel Eto'o, the world's highest-paid player, earns.

Net salary is important because it is the norm in the international soccer world for clubs to pay players' income taxes. And clubs in countries with high rates for income taxes and social security benefits find themselves at a disadvantage in terms of attracting top players.

Spain addressed the issue with the implementation of the Beckham Law in 2005, giving tax breaks for high-paid foreign workers.

But changes in Spanish tax laws abolishing those tax breaks mean Real Madrid will find it very difficult to help Ronaldo climb the salary ladder when his contract expires in June 2015.

Highest-Paid Players
PLAYER CLUB NET ANNUAL SALARY
1. Samuel Eto'o (Anzhi Makhachkala) $25 million
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St. Germain) $18 million
3. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) $17 million
4. Ya-Ya Toure (Manchester City) $16.4 million
5. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) $15.7 million
6. Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua) $15 million
7. Fernando Torres (Chelsea) $13.6 million
8. Dario Conca (Guangzhou Evergrande) $13.3 million
9. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) $13.3 million
10. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) $12.5 million

Source: Marca.



12 comments
  1. Lance Shannon
    commented on: September 5, 2012 at 9:30 a.m.
    Awww, poor thing makes slightly less money than a few other guys. He should be very pouty about that. Meanwhile, Robin Van Persie isn't even on the top 10 list, and is kicking ass and smiling.

  1. Dennisse Santana
    commented on: September 5, 2012 at 9:50 a.m.
    @Lance Shannon .. well said. I will never understand athlete's salaries, especially when they ask for more.

  1. Joseph Pratt
    commented on: September 5, 2012 at 10:27 a.m.
    And Lionel Messi, the best player in the world, is at #9!! Ronaldo is one moody dude.

  1. Zach McCoy
    commented on: September 5, 2012 at 10:35 a.m.
    If you read the article, it clearly says,"he admitted he is still 'feeling sad' at Real Madrid but denied it was over money." Personally I don't like Ronaldo. But you have to actually read the article. He isn't pouting over money. Paul Kennedy is assuming that.

  1. Albert Harris
    commented on: September 5, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.
    Whenever any player says it's not about the money, it's always about the money; make no mistake. I can't blame any player for wanting more. They're always one Ryan Shawcross tackle away from the end of their career, but I will admit that CR7 could definitely use the advice of a new PR consultant about his image. He must be using the same guy as Clint Dempsey.

  1. Ramon Creager
    commented on: September 5, 2012 at 3:39 p.m.
    I don't know if this is really what's eating at Ronaldo (and most commentators in Spain do think it's the money), but what this shows is that those above Ronaldo and Messi--particularly Eto'o and Rooney--are WAY over-paid, not that Ronaldo is under-paid. Andres Iniesta is not even on that list, and he's easily more valuable than any in the top 8. (Just for comparison purposes, these salaries look to be on a par with the highest paid NFL stars http://www.therichest.org/sports/highest-paid-nfl-players-2011/.)

  1. David Sirias
    commented on: September 5, 2012 at 4:38 p.m.
    Ramon's commment is spot on. What this list tells me is that Russian, Chinese, and UAE money dictates the global pay scale, which is in no way related to talent and ability to improve a team's relative performance. CR7 should shut his trap, wait until 2015 and then go to China or Russia if he wants to be the world's best paid footballer. I can see him doing that. Funny thing is I don't see Messi, or Wayne Rooney mailing it in that way. Real competitors want to compete against the best.... until they can't. Then they get out completely.

  1. Millwall America
    commented on: September 5, 2012 at 6:09 p.m.
    While I think it is about "the money", I think it's more a pride/keeping score thing with CR7 rather than him thinking he doesn't have enough cash to pay for his next mansion. He just figures he's better than Rooney and Zlatan so his pride demands that he gets paid more than they do. I doubt he'd run off to China or Russia for higher pay -- he still wants to play against the best and prove he's better. I could see him doing a move to PSG or Man City though, where could play the best and be paid the best.

  1. Millwall America
    commented on: September 5, 2012 at 6:17 p.m.
    As for Andres Iniesta, I'm not sure he'd be so great if he wasn't surrounded by a team of guys who grew up in the Barcelona system just like he did. It's easy to be good when you've played with the same guys under the same system for years -- you get telepathy for each other on the field. Stick him in the middle of Man City's short-timer mercenaries and he wouldn't be the same. FC Barcelona knows this and so does he, so it impacts his ability to negotiate higher wages.

  1. An Animus
    commented on: September 5, 2012 at 11:34 p.m.
    "It's easy to be good when you've played with the same guys under the same system for years"...this is the least insightful assessment of Iniesta's technical and tactical prowess that I have ever read. Iniesta has the ability to do things that could never ever fall under any definition of the word "easy". The only easy choice here would be to take him without hesitation before the top 8 on the list above.

  1. Gak Foodsource
    commented on: September 6, 2012 at 12:04 a.m.
    Millwall you are way off the mark on Iniesta. There isn't a team around that wouldn't want him. If you have any doubts about that, read the praise he gets from players like Rooney and Scholes, who hardly play the type of game Iniesta does. And if that isn't enough for you, look at what Carlos Silva, a player similar to Iniesta, did last season at Man City, (he is hardly a mercenary, by the way,) Silva couldn't get a game for Spain ahead of Iniesta, and yet he had no trouble jumping over to the EPL and becoming their best player.

  1. Gak Foodsource
    commented on: September 6, 2012 at 12:06 a.m.
    Sorry - meant David Silva above. Had Tevez on my mind...


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