We’ve all heard the line of arguments: sportstars earn too much…if they had a day off and donated X amount every week, the world would be a better place…poverty would be sorted and Leonardo DiCaprio wouldn’t have to keep harping on about climate change.
Well, to be fair, those arguments look like they have legs, when taking a peak at these top 10 earners across European soccer, and American sports – according to Forbes.
Before you bring out your pitchforks arguing that the likes of, Kobe Bryant, should be top of the list, this is based on salary and winnings from 2016; sorry Paul Pogba. And, not how much your corporate giants of Adidas and Nike manage to add to these guys ego stroking by giving them a few extra million for one awful Instagram post.
The American sports included are from American football, basketball, and baseball – and judging by these figures, looks like the the New York Yankees and co. have been knocked for a home run…
Neymar, $14M & Kevin Durant, $20.2M
Taking 10th spot; Neymar and Durant. Yeah, Neymar earnt more over the year through sponsorship - ahem, tax avoidance - still a healthy salary, but heavily trumped by the Golden State Warriors man.
Cesc Fabregas, $16M & LeBron James, $23.2M
Seriously, how has Fabregas made this list?! Nowhere near the sort of global appeal compared to LeBronnnnnn.
Eden Hazard, $18M & Kobe Bryant, $25M
For Hazard going as missing as he did last year, and still taking home $18 million, shows Chelsea are just as corrupt as FIFA; to just be shy of Bryant's salary seems absolutely criminal.
Luis Suarez, $18M & Russell Wilson, $31.8M
The current strongest No. 9 on the planet with the best passing quarterback; fitting.
Sergio Aguero, $17M & Marcell Dareus, $35.1
Bloody hell, the size of Dareus is frightening. Not sure what's a scarier prospect, having trying to stop Aguero, or having Big Marcell run at you. Think I'll settle for just Aguero making me look shit.
Wayne Rooney, $20M & Tom Brady, $36.1M
With Rooney's current form, the Englishman should probably take a leaf out of Brady's book and go get himself suspended. Both carry huge global status, and legends in their sports within their own right.
Gareth Bale, $24M & Eli Manning, $37M
Ah Wales favourite/only recognisable son, Gareth Bale. With a hefty salary and a Champions League under the Real Madrid man's belt last season puts him near the New York Giants legend, Eli Manning.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, $30M & Philip Rivers, $37.5M
Course Zlatan's up here, he must be with his own country recently erecting a bloody statue of him in Sweden. Not sure he'll be taking as much home in prize money with Man United come next summer, but still a whopping salary that won't be lost down the river.
Lionel Messi, $51M & Cam Newton, $44M
Finally! A soccer player trumps an American earning sportsmen, and yeah, Manning won an MVP, but Messi is far more important to his own side in comparison.
Cristiano Ronaldo, $53M & Joe Flacco, $44M
Both CR7, and Messi managed it; trump the Americans. Ronaldo to be fair could run his own country from his salary to his winnings to his unsubtle endorsements, so, sorry, Joe, but you're just not quite up there with European's Golden Boy.
SEE ALSO: Footballing icons making late bids to become US President
In general, the American sportsmen completely trump the top European soccer boys – surprisingly, baseball is nowhere to be seen. And, in terms of salary, the basketball lads don’t come close to the American football lot.
Speak to Messi and Neymar about wangling your way past the authorities and you might start competing at a salary level.
Whilst we are comparing America to Europe, who do you reckon has the better stadiums?
15) The London Stadium, West Ham
Amazing venue, shocking stadium. You can hear a pin drop and doesn't help when it's half empty with 10 minutes to go.
15) Franklin Field, Penn Relays
Makes the top 16 for its old-school feel and looking like the previous Wembley.
14) Etihad Stadium, Manchester City
You can't help but laugh at a club that increases their stadium capacity, despite being unable to fill the original quota.
13) Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis Rams (until 2015)
More naming rights issue than the Olympic/London/Karren Brady stadium; it houses all sorts of sports - helluva venue.
Source: CBS St Louis
12) Old Trafford, Manchester United
Culture in a nutshell. Ironically, the atmosphere is much louder than the (not so) noisy neighbours, Manchester City.
11) Allianz Arena, Bayern Munich
The first stadium to run a changing colour scheme outside. Shame Bayern had to light it Chelsea-blue in 2012.
10) Wembley Stadium, England
Can't hold a candle up to the old Wembley. Still a stunning venue with an arch more iconic than the golden McDonald's arches.
9) Lambeau Field, Green Bay Packers
Home to the Green Bay Packers. What a stadium, a green sea of 81,500 Packer fans.
8) Emirates Stadium, Arsenal
A wonderful place to read a book in peace or for a power nap.
7) Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City Chiefs
What a name for a stadium. Is that the red arrows in the background?
6) Nou Camp, Barcelona
Lionel Messi's own personal museum.
5) AT&T, Dallas Cowboys
Had a record attendance of 105,121 back in 2009. Wow. Comes with a retractable roof for good measure.
4) Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver Broncos
Broncos, Broncos, Broncos. Looks like Qatar have been taking note for their 2022 World Cup.
3) Olympiastadion Berlin, Hertha BSC
Has witnessed the most memorable moments in sport; from Zinedine Zidane's headbutt, to Usain Bolt's 100m record... and that's ignoring Jesse Owen's four gold medals in 1936. Amazing.
2) CenturyLink Field, Seattle Seahawks
Wow. The Seattle stadium genuinely looks like something out of a futuristic FIFA game.
1) Met Life Stadium, New York Jets & the New York Giants
Best arena going. Ticks all the boxes. Well played 👏.