How many times have you heard people say that football ‘is about money too much these days”, and other such remarks. Well, it really is a multi-billion pound industry and the sports’ players — or at least some of them — are really taking home some big bucks. We’re not talking about sums in the region of thousands, some players are raking in millions and millions upon other healthy stacks of millions. From huge salaries to massive bonuses, to ludicrously lucrative brand endorsement deals, the top brass footballers are earning more in a year than the average man earns in a lifetime.

But like most things, all the money (or at least serious money) is at the top of the game. We thought we’d take a look at the three highest earning footballers active today — to see just how little they need to worry about any recessions whatsoever.

Cristiano Ronaldo - $236 million

Few football fan’s will be surprised to read that Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is the richest footballer in the world. Lets be fair and frank: Ronaldo nothing short of the creme de la creme. His skills are often otherworldly; while his ball control and tenacity are hard to find words for unless it’s been witnessed visually. No surprise that his Real Madrid contracts drops a handsome €18.2 million per year into his bank account, and that’s all without his additional bonuses. If we put together Ronaldo’s brand endorsements and the like, with companies such as CR7, then you’d probably not so shocked to learn that he affords himself a somewhat lavish lifestyle.

Lionel Messi - $225 million

Ahhhh, the modern day great that is Lionel Messi, is worth a real fortune. Barcelona alone pays him a salary of $50 million a year, and if we combine this with the shedload of brand endorsement contracts he has, with Adidas, Samsung, Gillette, Dolce & Gabbana and others — it really starts to look like his retirement (and that of his family’s next several generation) will go quite swimmingly. He has won almost all of the football accolades available in the sport, which goes a long way in measuring up his mega wealth. He certainly deserves it though, the man is a genius.

Neymar - $152 million

Neymar probably almost definitely retire without ever needing anNEYMAR money (sorry, poor joke). He is Brazil’s golden boy of the game, and one of the most talented players worldwide, and certainly matches his club mate Messi for talent playing with FC Barcelona. His salary, however, is kinda dwarfed by Messi’s, but his flair on the ball and overall skill set sees him paid an impressive €8.8 million annually. Really not bad for a 24-year-old lad who didn’t grow up with a silver spoon. And just like his peers above, he also earns a great amount of his wealth with brand deals with giants like Nike.