DATA DEPENDENT: Who is the most valuable 2022 World Cup team? Does money equal success in Qatar?

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As the World Cup enters the deciding matches for the round robin group stage, there have been a few really good performances and a whole lotta mediocrity. It is and it isn’t surprising. If we’re honest (and we should be), historically there have been more than a fair share of terrible matches. It’s understandable because, for the most part, the teams only practice together for a few weeks a year. It’s not enough to get a really good feel for each other.

That said, there is always the expectation that every match should have its fair share of magic. Why? Because this isn’t a group of amateurs playing for glory in the Olympics. Just about every team features some of the best and brightest talents from across the globe. Not only that, each team features professionals who make a lot of money doing what they do. In a weird way, the lump sum of all the salaries on a roster could be considered an indicator of how a team should perform. (Key word there is “could”.)

With all the serious stats doing the rounds we decided to follow the money like Cuba Gooding Jr. Who are the highest paid players in Qatar? And what team boasts the highest payroll? And lastly, does payroll equal success?

Here are some of the superstars of the game and what they earn in total. That means salary plus off-field money from sponsorships, etc. (SOURCE: Forbes)

#1. $128 mil

Kylian Mbappé (FRANCE)

ON-FIELD: $110 mil • OFF-FIELD: $18 mil | AGE: 23

#2. $120 mil

Lionel Messi (ARGENTINA)

ON-FIELD: $65 mil • OFF-FIELD: $55 mil | AGE: 35

#3. $100 mil

Cristiano Ronaldo (PORTUGAL)

ON-FIELD: $40 mil • OFF-FIELD: $60 mil | AGE: 37

#4. $87 mil

Neymar Jr. (BRAZIL)

ON-FIELD: $55 mil • OFF-FIELD: $32 mil | AGE: 30

#5. $35 mil

Robert Lewandowski (POLAND)

ON-FIELD: $27 mil • OFF-FIELD: $8 mil | AGE: 34

#6. $31 mil

Eden Hazard (BELGIUM)

ON-FIELD: $27 mil • OFF-FIELD: $4 mil | AGE: 31

#7. $29 mil 

Kevin De Bruyne (BELGIUM)

ON-FIELD: $25 mil • OFF-FIELD: $4 mil | AGE: 31

And here is every team participating in the 2022 World Cup Finals in Qatar listed in order of roster payroll. Is payroll reflective of quality? What do you think?

Statistic: Transfer value of teams at the FIFA World Cup in 2022 (in million euros) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista


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