Apartment Living BlogFitness & Style › Money Ball: Salary Compare 5 World Sports

Whether or not you’re a sports fan, it’s hard to deny that many professional athletes make obscene amounts of money. Yes, they put a lot of hard work and personal pain into the games that they play, but considering their actual contribution to society, it seems difficult to honestly justify their Rockefeller-esque paychecks and their multi-million dollar apartments. However, the truth is that even with top earners like LeBron James and Maria Sharapova casting the long shadows of their income out over the sports-landscape, there are other professional athletes that are making significantly less. Around the world, the range of athlete salaries is one that extends all of the way from the ground, up to the clouds, and you might be surprised at some of the stops it makes along the way. Here are athlete wage-comparisons for five sports played around the world, that will make you drop the ball (and your jaw) in amazement.


ForRent.com - Money Ball - Soccer

In the U.S. and Canada, the average annual salary for soccer players for is $200,000 annually, with goalkeepers earning the least, and forwards earning the most. The highest-paid player (Clint Dempsey) in the MLS earns nearly $5 million per year, while other players may make as little as $31,125. Outside of North America, Soccer is a much more popular sport, and often times the players’ salaries reflects that. For example, England’s Premier League (the richest league in the sport), paid an average salary of $2.7 million during the 2012–2013 season. Of course, despite the global popularity of the sport, many developing nations are unable to pay their footballers what they would otherwise be earning in more wealthy countries; Zimbabwe sees salaries as low as $150 per month for some teams.



Baseball may be known as America’s Pastime, but that’s not to say that it hasn’t made it’s mark in other parts of the world as well. In Italy, players generally make around $24,000 per year, while players in Japan make approximately $400,000 annually (with large variances on either side, depending upon league and team). Players in the Dominican republic who join MLB academy farm teams earn around $600–$1000 a month, but are poised to make substantially more should they prove themselves able to compete in the U.S. leagues. But how much do American baseball players make on average? $3.39 million per year, with Ryan Howard and Cliff Lee currently tied for the title of “Most Expensive Player” with a yearly salary of $25 million each.








ForRent.com - Money Ball - Football

Despite being the most popular sport in the United States, football remains one of the lowest-paying professional sports in the country. Players in the NFL earn an average of $2 million annually—significantly less than professional basketball- and baseball-players. Quarterbacks obviously make the most of any position, with Bears QB Jay Cutler leading the pack with a guaranteed $54 million (out of his seven-year, $126.7 million contract). Canadian football players don’t make quite as much, with the average pay being $82,000 annually. Of course, it could be worse; players of American Football Japan don’t earn any money at all, and in Switzerland they actually have to pay yearly dues of approximately $800 in order to be able to play, and even have to purchase their own equipment.



Hockey is an interesting case study. Despite it being the national winter sport of Canada (by decree of the Queen of England, no less), the Great White North only has seven teams in the NHL—as compared to the 23 teams located in the United States. However, as far as salary goes, it seems as though Canadian and American hockey players are a bit more even. The average annual salary for a player in the NHL is $2.4 million, making hockey the third-highest paying sport in North America. The highest paid player is currently Sidney Crosby, with an annual salary of $12 million. Across the pond, things aren’t quite so lucrative—professional players in Russia earn about $400,000–$500,000 per year, while Sweden, Switzerland, and Germany pay their players about $250,000.



ForRent.com - Money Ball - Basketball

Despite starting out as a clever way to keep kids occupied during cold winter months, basketball has grown into an international phenomenon. The NBA provides its players with the highest average salary of any league, paying approximately $4.5 million per player per year. And for those who really stand out, there’s even more money to be made; Kobe Bryant is currently the highest paid professional basketballer, with a salary of $23.5 million, and Kevin Garnett was the highest paid basketballer of all time, with a single season salary of

$28 million. Outside of the NBA, Overseas players still make a good living (though not quite on par with what their American counterparts are raking in) of $240,000 annually on average for first division players. Canadian basketballers earn on average about $36,000 per year.


ForRent.com - Money Ball - Salary Comparison

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Hey, everybody! My name is Jason, and I contribute to this great blog, but when I'm not posting for ForRent.com, I like to play music with friends, cook, and travel as much as possible.


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