For the past years, the top three positions in terms of salaries of footballers have been occupied by Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar, in that order.

Cristiano Ronaldo, 33, moved to Juventus last summer proving to the world how age is just a number for him and also how top European clubs are still willing to take a risk to win trophies.

The Turin based club knew that they needed to offer the Portuguese a contract which was more attractive than the one offered by Real Madrid in order for him to join them and thatโ€™s what they did. With the new contract, Ronaldo made it to the top five earners list for 2018 once more.

Despite having a very good World Cup performance, stars such as Pogba and Mbappe are yet to renew their contract with their respective clubs and it is after then that the list could be updated or not.

In fourth and fifth positions, there are also two surprise players who made the list, Alexis Sanchez and Oscar, the former Chelsea player who now plays for Chinese side Shanghai SIPG.

Here is the list of the top five footballers in 2018

Note: Only salaries are considered, not the additional bonuses

5. Oscar (ยฃ21.1m)

Oscar celebrates scoring the opening goal in Shanghai SIPG’s victory over Sukhothai. (VCG via Getty Images)

When Oscar joined Chelsea back in 2012, no one would have thought that a few years later he would be playing in the Chinese Super League. The Chelsea team was built around him.

In fact, in 2017, he decided to leave Europe and sign a big money contract with Chinese side Shanghai SIPG and which made him one of the top five highest earning footballers of the 2018 calendar year. His current salary is of ยฃ400,000 per weeks and for a whole year he earned a total of ยฃ21.1 million.

For sure this does not reflect the impact heโ€™s had with the Asian club. Oscar was one of the first players to take this path and many others followed ever since including the likes of Hulk, Pato, Paulinho, Pelle and Ramires.

4. Alexis Sanchez (ยฃ24m)

Alexis Sanchez joined the Red Devils during last January’s transfer window. (Martin Rickett/PA)

After a lot of transfer speculation and a battle between the two Manchester Clubs for his signing, Alexis Sanchez joined Manchester United and signed a ยฃ460,000 per week contract with the Red Devils.

The Chilean arrived at Old Trafford seen as the man who would make United the side it once was but this was not the case and Sanchezโ€™s form kept on going from bad to worse one of the reason being the bad relationship with former United manager Jose Mourinho.

In 2018, the 30-year old earned a total of ยฃ24 million in wages excluding the several additional bonus deals.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo (ยฃ26m)

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goal for Juventus in their Serie A match against Sassuolo.
(REUTERS/Massimo Pinca)

The new contract with Juventus signed by Ronaldo in the summer of 2018 still enabled the Portuguese to make the list of the highest paid footballers in the world. By joining Juve, Ronaldo will now earn ยฃ500,000 per week.

No one was expecting a big contract like the one Juve offered given Ronaldoโ€™s age, but with the 33-year oldโ€™s form up till now in the Serie A is surely proving how high the worth of the deal was.

This season Juventus will want to lift their very much desired trophy, the Champions League, a trophy that the Portuguese superstar is surely not craving for, given heโ€™s won it for the last 3 consecutive years.

In total, Ronaldo earned ยฃ26 million in wages for the 2018 calendar year.

2. Neymar (ยฃ31.7m)

Neymar joined PSG in 2017. (Stephane Allaman Gtres)

Before joining PSG from Barcelona for ยฃ198 million back in 2017, Neymar didnโ€™t even make the list of the top 5 earners in the world. But with the contract heโ€™s signed with the Paris club, the Brazilian winger now takes home ยฃ570,000 every week.

Neymar has 45 goals in 50 matches and this goes to show how much heโ€™s living up to the extremely high price tag. The Brazilian is surely considered as one of the best players in the world together with Messi and Ronaldo.

In 2018, the 26-year old winger made a total of ยฃ31.7 million in terms of salary.

1. Lionel Messi (ยฃ40m)

Lionel Messi has been at Barcelona since 2001. (EPA)

The Argentinian forward is maybe one of the best ever players to play the sport and his impact on the game is something extraordinary. Heโ€™s been with Barcelona since he was a boy and is likely to end his football career with them as well.

The Catalan club has had to offer Messi a wage worthy of the best player in the world and that is why he earns an impressive ยฃ770,000 per week.

During 2018, the 31-year old earned a total of ยฃ40 million excluding additional sponsorship fees.

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