- New data showing the world's highest-paid football players has thrown into sharp contrast the difference in earnings between stars at the top of the men's and women's games.
- The best-paid male footballer on the planet, Lionel Messi, made $141 million in 2019 through salary and sponsorships.
- USWNT star Carli Lloyd was the best-paid female player, earning around $518,000.
- Messi took home 272 times more money than Lloyd.
- Put another way, Lloyd earned just 0.3% of what Messi did in 2019.
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New data revealing the world's highest-paid football players has thrown into sharp contrast the difference in earnings between stars at the top of the men's and women's games.
Soccer magazine France Football's annual ranking of the best-paid players in the sport showed that FC Barcelona and Argentina captain Lionel Messi was men's football's highest earner, taking home $141 million in salary and sponsorships last year.
By contrast, Carli Lloyd, the USWNT star and the highest earner in women's football, made just $518,000 in 2019, a year in which her and her US teammates won the Women's World Cup, becoming global stars.
A simple calculation by Insider found that Messi's earnings were more than 272 times larger than Lloyd's. Put another way, Lloyd earned just 0.3% of what Messi did in 2019.
The next highest earners in women's football were USWNT captain Megan Rapinoe, who made $447,000, and Norwegian Ada Hegerberg, crowned Women's Ballon d'Or winner in 2018, who made $431,000.
Messi made 315 times and 327 times more than the pair in 2019 respectively.
It should be noted that Messi played significantly more football in 2019 than Lloyd, playing 64 games for club and country in the 2019 calendar year, compared to 24 played by Lloyd.
Lloyd has been at the forefront of the push by USWNT stars to gain equal pay with their colleagues in the USMNT and fight what they believe is gender discrimination in US soccer.
The US Women's National Team players are engaged in a very contentious and highly publicized legal battle with the US Soccer Federation — their employer — over "pay discrimination" due to "gender stereotyping."
In March, 28 members of the team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit, alleging that "institutionalized gender discrimination" was affecting their pay, travel, playing schedule, training, medical treatment, and more.
Away from pay, Lloyd on Tuesday hinted that she could put off her imminent retirement so that she can play for the USWNT in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which were postponed until summer 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Lloyd tweeted that the delay is a "silver lining," and will give her "more time to prepare, more time to get sharper and even more fit!!!"
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