Some of the world’s top athletes move regularly in order to play for different teams, and they often don’t have a problem paying five (or more) figures on monthly rent while they search for a more permanent home.

When superstar soccer player Lionel Messi recently switched teams from F.C. Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, he rented out a $23,000-per-month home in Paris’ Neuilly-sur-Seine suburb, a report in the Wall Street Journal recently pointed out.

The reason Messi could afford such sky-high rent is because the athlete earns about $130 million a year, which translates to about $247 a minute, according to U.K. financial website Money, which recently broke down how many minutes top athletes would have to work in order to afford the average home in the country where they work.

For Messi, that means clocking in roughly 20 hours of work (or a couple of days) to earn the money to buy the typical French home. Or, just putting in an hour-and-a-half of work to afford his $23,000 rent.

Professional mixed-martial artist Conor McGregor tops Money’s list of highest paid athletes with a salary of about $180 million per year, as of 2020. In the U.S., that means McGregor earns enough money within about 8 hours to buy the average home. In the U.K., it would take McGregor almost twice that time, a little over 14 hours, to earn enough money to buy the typical home.

One more soccer superstar rounds out the list of the top three highest paid athletes — Cristiano Ronaldo, who lives in Italy and plays for Juventus, while earning $120 million annually. With Ronaldo’s $228-per-minute salary, he could purchase the average priced Italian home of about $250,170 after 13 hours of work. For the average house in the U.K., it would take him a little more than 21 hours of work to afford.


The first American athletes that make Money’s list of top-earning athletes are Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who comes in at no. 4 with an annual salary of $107.5 million, and L.A. Lakers shooting guard LeBron James, who is the fifth highest earning athlete with a salary of $96.5 million.

That means that Prescott could afford the typical American home within about 14 hours of work, while James would have to clock in about two additional hours on top of that for a total of 16 working hours.

In October 2020, James made headlines with his purchase of a $37 million mansion in Beverly Hills. Given his earnings of about $184 per minute, it would have taken the basketball superstar roughly 3,351 work hours to save up for the home (or about 140 days).

Women’s tennis darling Naomi Osaka made no. 12 on Money’s list with a salary of $60 million per year or roughly $114 per minute. With a salary of that stature, she could pay for the typical U.S. home within about 26 hours of work, or, about 43 days for her $6.9 million Beverly Hills property.

Email Lillian Dickerson

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