Google Searches for World Cup Player Salaries Have Skyrocketed

Stop drooling over Cristiano Ronaldo. (And forget, at least for a minute, that Lionel Messi looks like he works in Best Buy’s HR department.) Since the World Cup kicked off 13 days ago, Google searches for players’ salaries have skyrocketed, proving once again how fascinated humans are with the income levels of famous people. Below, you can see the top five increases in search of players. It’s almost like we crave the pain of knowing we don’t make in a year what some people make in a day. Self-loathing, fútbol style. Call this the new “World’s Game.”


Some clarity: these are the amount of searches ABOVE each player's normal rate. I.e., Balotelli's being searched at a normal rate. Messi, 10x more than how often he's normally searched. 

(Data put together by Google Trends.)

Lionel Messi: 10x normal

Net Worth: Pegged around $300 million.
According to the Fortune Magazine's Fortunate 50 list, it's reported that the 27-year-old striker for Argentina netted over $74 million last year, $21M of which came from endorsements including Adidas, Pepsi, and Gillette, among others. His $53M in salary is the highest salary of any soccer player in the world.  

Cristiano Ronaldo: 7.5x normal

Net worth: Between $230-$250 million.
And, yeah, you guessed correctly–it’s 'cause he’s so damn hot, every brand in the world wants his face on its product. Nike, TAG Heuer, Toyota, and Samsung to name a few. But a $48 million salary last year didn’t hurt Portugal's star, either. At age 29, though, he’s only got a few years left where he can command that kind of dough.

Clint Dempsey: 5.5x normal

Net worth: Estimated at $16 million.
Dempsey suffers from playing soccer in the richest country on Earth, yet the one whose citizens cares about soccer the least (for now). A striker for the Seattle Sounders, Dempsey doesn’t enjoy international recognition as much as everyone else on this list, but perhaps that changes if the U.S. can advance out of pool play in Brazil? (Update: It did!)

Neymar: 3x normal

Net worth: Conservative estimates have it near $50 million.
The youngest player on this list, Neymar, 22, signed a contract worth $124 million in 2013, and in the last year he’s made roughly $34M. Let’s check back in 10 years on the Brazilian after he’s on the face of every Nike ad and dating a Victoria's Secret model and has enough money to buy a few islands. 

Mario Balotelli: Normal rate

Net worth: Near $40 million.
This surprises us. Not the figure (he’s only 23), but that he’s not being searched at a faster rate. Is it because Italy lost two of three games? The mowhawk’d gunner earned a relatively small $4.5 million last season, which, considering his global reach and deft touch on the offensive side of the ball, this is sort of upsetting. Then again, the guy’s making $4.5 million, so let’s put things into perspective. 

Ryan Hatch is the Deputy Editor at Supercompressor. You're going to search his salary? C'mon, save him the humiliation.