Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the world’s highest paid player after-tax according to World Soccer.
The magazine’s research has revealed the top 20 highest earners after tax and some of the results are very interesting.
The figures estimated are net basic salaries and do not include bonuses and incentives, but it is still somewhat surprising to see Fernando Torres in 17th and his former Chelsea team-mate Didier Drogba in 10th.
Premier League clubs have the most players represented, with eight of the top 20 plying their trade for English clubs.
However, none of the Chelsea trio come close to their former talisman Drogba, who takes home £6.38m after tax thanks to his contract with Galatasaray.
Manchester United duo Wayne Rooney (£6.54m) and Robin van Persie (£6.29m) are the highest earning Premier League based players occupying 9th and 11th place respectively, ahead of cross-city rival Yaya Toure (£6m) in 12th.
Toure’s City team-mate Sergio Aguero brings up the rear of the list alongside Terry earning £4.8m.
Liverpool’s controversial but brilliant striker Luis Suarez occupies 14th place (£5.72m) to complete the Premier League representation.
After the Premier League, La Liga is the next most prominent league with six stars making the cut.
They are, of course, trumped by Lionel Messi, with the four-time Ballon d’Or winner taking home £8.75m a year, enough to land him 5th place on the list.
The two most expensive players in the world aren’t the two highest paid though, with Bale (£7.8m) in 6th place.
Ronaldo does make it into 2nd with his stunning £11.78m after-tax deal but it is Ibrahimovic, arguably the only man whose ego could match CR7’s, who trumps him with a mind-boggling £12.08m-a-year contract.
As well as the Turkish Super Liga’s sole representative Drogba, Italy’s Serie A and Russia’s Premier League have one player each on the list.
Roma’s much-coveted midfielder Daniele De Rossi (£5.42m) takes 15th place, while Zenit St Petersburg forward Hulk (£4.96m) is in 18th.
Of course the presence of Ibrahimovic and Silva could be under threat from the new tax laws which are set to be imposed in France, where top earners could face 75% tax rates.
A fuss has been caused already in France as tax-free Monaco look set to avoid the difficulties of other Ligue 1 clubs.
But as it stands, the France-based superstars are sitting pretty on top of the list.
image: © wshjackson