The 20 Highest Paid Players in France – Lyon Once Again DominateBy: Inara | April 8th, 2008
This year, 13 of the 20 highest paid footballers in Ligue 1 are from Lyon. Last year, there were only 11. Which is strange because I could swear Aulas wanted to bring down Lyon’s payroll. Of course, only a handful of players appear on the list of the best 50 paid players in the world. But baby steps!
This list doesn’t factor in bonuses, premiums, sponsorships, simply gross wages. According to France Football:
1 – Djibril Cissé – Marseille – €4.8m
2 – Pauleta -PSG – €4.6m
3 – Juninho – Lyon – €4.5m
4 – Cris – Lyon – €4.2m
5 – Jerome Rothen – PSG – €4m
6 – Fabio Grosso – Lyon – €3.9m
7 – Sidney Govou – Lyon – €3.8m
8 – Karim Benzema – Lyon – €3.7m
9 – Gregory Coupet – Lyon – €3.6m
10 – Mario Yepes -PSG – Lyon – €3.4m
11 – Fred – Lyon – €3.2m
12 – Kader Keita – Lyon – €3,1M€
13 – Johan Micoud – Bordeaux – €3m
14 – Jeremy Toulalan – Lyon – €2.5m
15 – Sebastien Squillaci – Lyon – €2.5m
16 – Jean-Alain Boumsong – Lyon – €2.5m
17 – Kim Källström – Lyon – €2,5M€
18 – Lucas Bernardi – Monaco – €2.4m
19 – Gael Givet – Marseille – €2.3Mm
20 – Anthony Réveillère – Lyon – €2.2m
There are a lot of interesting things on this list. Most notable is the fact that only five clubs are represented here, the bulk from Lyon, with a handful from PSG and Marseille. Bordeaux and Monaco provide one representative each.
For me, the most puzzling question was, why is Sidney Govou’s salary lower than what it was last year, when he was earning €4.5m? He hasn’t signed a contract extension either, and even if he had, wages usually go up.
Also, take a look at Fabio Grosso’s salary. He’s the third highest paid OL player, which is absolutely crazy, especially considering that he’s also one of the worst players. No wonder he doesn’t want to go back to Italy! I don’t know what Jean-mimi was thinking, but he needs to get rid of Grosso. There are many other OL players who deserve that money (hello, Mathieu Bodmer!). If signing foreign players from the big three leagues means vastly inflated and undeserved wages, no thanks.
Keep in mind that this list doesn’t take into account recent contract extensions of Karim Benzema and Jeremy Toulalan. Benzema will be earning over €5m per year, which will see him become the highest paid player in France. Also keep in mind that Benzema extended his contract last August as well, which is why he already had a pretty big salary before his most recent extension. Toulalan’s salary should also jump significantly.
I had expected Kim Kallstrom’s salary to be higher, but then I remembered that he only signed one extension, and that was back in August. Given that Lyon are not making any efforts into renegotiating his contract despite hints from Kallstrom, it seems like he could be packing his bags this summer.
So what’s the verdict? Lyon prove once again that they are the best destination in France, but when you look at how those numbers translate into results…well, look at it this way. Bordeaux are only six points adrift of us, and yet they have only one player on that list.
Edit: I see that Magnusson has beat me to this story.