manchester city april 2014If you dream of being one of the highest paid athletes in the world, you may want to take up professional soccer and move to Europe. A new survey taken by the Sporting Intelligence Global Sports Salaries says Manchester City of the English Premier League is the best-paying sports franchise on the globe.

The survey took in 294 different teams in 12 nations and included 15 pro sports leagues. According to the report, a first-team player at Manchester City is paid an average of $172,488 each week, or $8,969,407 a year.

However, youngsters shouldn’t pack away their baseball bats and gloves though since the New York Yankees are the second-highest paying club at $8,882,746 per year while the average Los Angeles Dodger player makes $8,603,482. The Yankees used to be the best-paying organization in sports back in 2010 when the average player made $7.89 million a year.

There’s no doubt that NFL players can earn the big bucks, such as Aaron Rodgers raking in $40 million, but this usually includes the elite players only. For example, just two or three per team may make about $20 million a year while the average NFL’er takes home between $400,000 and $1 million. Therefore, there are no NFL teams included in the top-12 paying clubs in the world.

As a whole, the NBA pays its players the most on average. There are 30 teams in the NBA with a total of 441 players and this season the average yearly salary was about $4.5 million.

The Brooklyn Nets have the highest average payroll at $6.8 million per player. And while the average Manchester City player makes $8.9 million, none of them makes the top-25 best-paid athlete list. The only English Premier League soccer player to be included is Wayne Rooney, who’s ranked at number 15 with an annual wage of $26 million.

Other soccer players on the list are Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid at number two overall at $50.2 million a year followed by Barcelona’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi at number three with a $50.1 wage. Swedish international striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic comes in at number five as the Paris Saint Germain player is paid $35 million per year.

However, the best-paid athlete on the planet is still boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. Mayweather reportedly made $73.5 million last year. But as a team, Manchester City treats its players the best due to the foreign ownership of the club by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is one of the world’s richest men.

Sheikh Mansour has spent well over $1 billion on player transfers and salaries over the past few years. He recently bought Australian A-League team Melbourne Heart and joined forces with the New York Yankees on a new Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise named New York City F.C.

The survey included a total of 8,663 athletes in seven major sports and their combined wages reached $16.15 billion. It’s obvious that athletes in any major team sport can earn millions of dollars a year.

But while Manchester City is the best-paying team and the NBA is the best-paying league, Mayweather is certainly the best paid of them all.

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