Soccer player salaries vary drastically, depending on the league, the position played and whether the team is semi-professional or professional.
MLS Soccer Salaries
Currently in the MLS (United States) professional soccer league, the players salaries range from £13,000 to £4,225,000. David Beckham is at the top of that pay range. Most MLS players average £65,000 or more in salary, but that does not include any sponsors or endorsements. This information can be found on the MLSPlayers.org website.
European Soccer Salaries
In Europe, there are several levels of professional soccer, but the most popular leagues or televised professional teams, like Manchester United, have much higher pay scales. In fact, the top 50 players in 2008–2009 made more than 4.5 million pounds or nearly £4 million dollars a season. Their weekly salaries averaged between £83,200 and £166,400 (U.S. dollars). More of this information can be found on TheOffSide.com.
Semi-professional players can still expect to make between £13,000 and £65,000 a year in the United States, and depending on the team and the league, European semi-professionals will earn between £52,000 and £195,000.
Sponsors and Endorsements
Many players get sponsorships, endorsements and an additional salary to wear their sponsor's merchandise or promote them through commercials or advertisements.
American soccer players typically make much less than athletes in other sports, like basketball, baseball, and football. This has a lot to do with fan base and merchandise sales. European soccer has a huge market, with many fans not only in Europe, but all over the world. Similar markets are found in Germany, Spain and China.