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Do NBA players make more than soccer players?

Salaries are really important when we talk about players not only in the NBA, but other sports as well. Soccer and basketball are two dominant sports disciplines where players get the highest salaries compared to the other ones. Have you ever considered whether NBA players make more than soccer players

Do NBA players make more than soccer players? According to statistics, soccer players tend to generate more money compared to basketball players but other factors also need to be considered, such as the status of the athlete and role in the team.

As a matter of fact, if we compare superstar players both in the NBA and soccer, the former has an advantage, but on average, players in Europe generate more salaries. We will have a closer look at each of these sports below in the article. If you are a fan of Soccer make sure to check out our sister website .

Stephen Curry vs Lionel Messi

While LeBron James might be the first player in the NBA to become a millionaire in salary and endorsements, Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors is the highest-paid player in the league, earning more than $45,000,000 per year. He has a massive 5-year contract with the club, and in the 2020/2021 season, he was a pivotal figure in the club, leading the team to the playoffs, when they were eventually knocked out by the Memphis Grizzlies.

Lionel Messi, who shockingly left Barcelona in August 2021 is now playing for PSG, where he will receive a mind-blowing 960,000 EUR per week! It amounts to almost $41 million net salary, including bonuses and he has signed a 2-year contract with the club, with an option of adding a year more.

An additional source of income

In terms of pure salaries, soccer players have a better income than basketball players, but we should not forget about additional factors such as endorsements, deals with famous sports brands and partnership deals. For example, LeBron James who we have already mentioned above has numerous deals with famous brands. We can also say the same about Cristiano Ronaldo, who, apart from being one of the greatest soccer players of all time, is an influencer, having the most followers on Instagram. In such a way these athletes make even more money.

The status of players plays a massive role

The highest salary with a margin in the NBA is an average of about 7.8 million euros per year, the median salary (differs from the average in that it reflects the situation more objectively: half receive a salary below this figure, half – above) – 3.7 million euros. However, everything depends on other factors – how a particular player is performing in the club and whether they are rookies or not.

Obviously, the value of soccer players comes from various factors, not counting skills: at least his position and age, as well as the league in which he plays. It is clear that Premier League clubs pay the most – an average of 3.7 million euros per player. It is one and a half times less in Spain, two times less in Italy and Germany, three times less in France. Moreover, the higher a soccer player acts on the field – from goalkeepers to forwards – the more expensive he is.

Statistics are necessary to be demonstrated while talking about salaries. Interestingly, the data also varies by position: experienced strikers over 30 are much more expensive than their younger competitors. In Spain, the average salary of an older striker is under 7 million euros per year. This was a phenomenon, which was partly explained by Lionel Messi when he played for Barcelona. And in Italy, for example, the highest average salary for young goalkeepers (under 23) is more than a million euros per year.

Otherwise, everything is stable: the British pay a lot, the French least of all, and between them are the Spaniards, Italians and Germans.

The popularity of NBA and soccer compared

Soccer is the most popular type of sport: La Liga and the Premier League share first place in terms of subscribers and receive the most for TV rights from abroad. The main criterion for popularity is the number of subscribers in the three main social networks in the world: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Soccer is unconditionally dominant here: the Premier League and La Liga clubs, especially the top 5 in England and the top 3 in Spain, are far ahead of their competitors.

The NBA is also very popular for sure and only in the United States, it has millions of viewers, let alone the rest of Europe. However, it is not enough to surpass the popularity of soccer which is way ahead of its competitor. The popularity is vital in determining the salaries of players.

The impact of owners

When we talk about salaries and compare them between basketball and soccer players it is necessary to point out that in the latter, we have seen a massive increase in clubs, which are purchased by wealthy owners. Magnates from Qatar and other countries invest a lot in different clubs. One of the clearest examples is PSG, which managed to attract not only Neymar and Kylian Mbappe but also Lionel Messi, which we have already mentioned several times in our article. The salaries of these players are some of the highest ones in the whole world.

With regards to the NBA, the same cannot be said about the world’s best league. While there are a lot of large contracts where top players are going to earn a lot of money, it is inferior to soccer and the top 5 European leagues.