Highest-Paid Female Soccer Stars

The Upper End of the Female Football Pay Scale

Highest-Paid Female Soccer Stars
June 24, 2015

As with most professional sports, the salary gap between men and women in soccer is large. However, at least some of the most popular and famous female footballers are beginning to close the gap. The list below contains ten of the world's highest paid female soccer stars — they have not been placed in order because of conflicting information about current salaries, which for the most part, are not public. Keep an eye out for them as the 2015 Women's World Cup moves on.

  • Marta Vieira da Silva – The Brazilian born soccer star (pictured above) who often goes by the single name Marta plays for the Brazilian National Team, but plays professionally in Sweden. She commanded the whopping salary of nearly $400,000 from her previous team, Tyresö FF, although the salary was reportedly paid by sponsors. Tyresö FF disbanded for financial reasons, but Viera stayed in Sweden by signing with FC Rosengård.

  • Alex Morgan – One of the stars of the US Women's World Cup Team, Morgan plays professionally for the Portland Thorns in the US National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). Sportsgoogly.com reports that Morgan's salary was increased to $450,000; if true, that must be through subsidies or sponsors as the NWSL is salary-capped at $200,000 per team. Whatever her salary is, she's making more in endorsements, with estimates ranging above $1 million.

  • Abby Wambach – The world-record holder for international goals (men or women) recently announced that 2015 is her last run on the US World Cup team. She last played professionally for the Western New York Flash in the 2014 NWSL season and is taking the 2015 season off to prepare for the World Cup. Reports of her salary range from $190,000 to $300,000 — again, most likely through sponsorships.

  • Sydney Leroux – Born in Surrey, British Columbia, Leroux now plays for the US World Cup team and plays professionally for the Western New York Flash. Estimates of her salary range from $60,000 to $92,500.

  • Nicole Banecki – Of mixed Cameroonian and German descent, Banecki plays for the German World Cup team as well as SC Freiburg in the German football league (Bundesliga). Her salary is listed at $90,000.

  • Amandine Henry – Henry plays defensive midfield for the French club Olympique Lyon, and is an important member of the French World Cup team, having scored an amazingly long goal against Mexico in the 2015 World Cup. Henry's estimated salary range is from $60,000-$70,000.

  • Nilla Fischer – Known for her distinctive haircut, Fischer plays for both VfL Wolfsburg in the German league and the Swedish national team. Fischer's salary is approximately $65,000.

  • Hope Solo – The controversial yet talented US World Cup goalkeeper and wife of former Seattle Seahawks (NFL) tight end Jerramy Stevens plays professionally for the Seattle Reign of the NWSL. Estimates of Solo's salary vary greatly, from $22,000 to $65,000.

  • Jonelle Filigno – Filigno gets the exciting chance to play for the 2015 World Cup in her native Canada as part of the Canadian World Cup team. She also plays professionally for Sky Blue FC in the NWSL (on the campus of Rutgers University in New Jersey). Filigno's salary is approximately $60,000.

  • Laure Boulleau – Boulleau plays for Paris St.-Germain in the French league as well as playing for the French World Cup team. Boulleau's salary is estimated at $60,000.

Enjoy these female footballers while they enjoy the higher visibility of the World Cup, and in the future when most, if not all, will be part of their national teams at the Olympics. Meanwhile, make the effort to find broadcasts of their professional teams when you can. They are hard to find, but worthwhile.

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billy | 07.02.15 @ 16:52
You do understand why the gap is so large, right? It should be.....talent gets paid based on the revenue they generate. Women's sports just doesn't have the marketability that mens does. Its not even close.
Belinda | 07.15.15 @ 13:13
Has nothing to do with talent.....men and women are equally talented in their own right. It's been the same throughout history, men will decide what women will get paid.....
red | 07.18.15 @ 00:14
Belinda nees to learn a little Econ. Women national teams trains against Bu-15 & Bu-16 boys teams. They should get paid the same amount as those teams that regularly beat them.
Tony | 08.12.15 @ 20:55
It's all about the ability to monetize and market which is tied to ratings and popularity of the sport among consumers...the national team success in terms of viewership has not translated into a strong women's league with a large following. of fans willing to watch. Its like the Olympics every four years...you get a star from track or swimming that can translate that into endorsements but the sport still toils in obscurity. Women can do well in golf and tennis because they have sponsors and a certain amount of ratings although well behind the mens (at least in golf) because people will watch. has nothing to do with some type of male control keeping women down. It's just the reality that the male athlete is faster and more athletic and thus more entertaining.
marta | 09.16.15 @ 12:11
@billy "Women's sports just doesn't have the marketability that mens does. Its not even close. " Actually the women's world cup final was the most watched soccer event, ever, in US history. The fact that this list of women is made up of iconic names that everyone already knows of... Marta, Solo, Wambach, Alex Morgan... that too goes to show that maybe people do watch women's sports... just cause you "feel" like men are so much more entertaining doesn't mean that's reality, LOL!! You may grow up and find out that actually many men are entertained by women. On the men's team the only name I know is Donovan, and aged, bald, sickly looking guy, and the men's team is a huge let down. I really think the men's team is the reason the sport isn't more popular in this country. Anyways, it's not up to me and it's not even a debate. It's just a widely known FACT that more people watched the women play in this last world cup than the men. So.,.. uhhhh?? http://www.si.com/planet-futbol/2015/07/06/usa-japan-womens-world-cup-tv-ratings-record
Devon | 09.16.15 @ 18:50
@marta I will politely tell you that you are right and wrong, YES the womens world cup FINAL was the most watched in history. HOWEVER, even with that viewership the whole world cup vs the whole world cup for men it wasn't even close on how many more people watched the women. Even going past that, EACH of the soccer matches in the US for both MLS and Womens league the differences per game are outstanding. And even so the amount of people that watch only does the marketing side of things for the team. Ticket sales are the big money maker for every game on how much the players get paid. I am a wrestler a soccer player and a football player. The money differences I would get if played the 3 are SUPER LOW compared to others, that doesn't mean that I become a girl if play the one that gives me the lowest amount, its how much money they make so they HAVE the money to pay their players. Think about Iowa hawkeyes alone, Kirk ferentz makes roughly 3 mil a year, has had ZERO national championships. With that being said Tom and Terry Brands, has had MULTIPLE not only world championships but also big ten championships and many people with in the program get championships, yet they both make nothing more than $50,000 a year. And if you don't know who they are let me tell you. Kirk is the Iowa football coach where as Tom and Terry Brands are the Coach and assistant coach for The Iowa Hawkeye wrestling program. One of the greatest sports programs in us history. to my knowledge I don't think any of them are female. No, that's right its because THE MARKET IS ALOT LOWER FOR WRESTLING.
wildepuzzles | 01.11.16 @ 18:52
Professional sport is a form of entertainment, with the participants paid on a level commensurate to their marketability and earning potential from TV and advertising revenue, sponsorship, and plain ol' bums on seats. Female soccer fans can get paid as much as the men when they can bring people in to watch them, it's that simple, including getting their own gender to take an interest, which they don't, at least not to anything like the degree to which men devote attention to sports. @Marta. You're comparing ratings for a woman's world cup final versus a bread and butter viewing or American soccer teams in action - in a country where it still ranks far below the 'big four' sports in terms of popularity? The obvious comparison would be an average game from the leagues that all those female world cup girls play in. Get back to us on that one, won't you? Then try and do a comparison on the average number of people who watch premier league matches in England, (as an example) how many people go to matches to watch them, how much they pay for tickets and concessions, what the big teams earn in the way of sponsorship, TV rights, and advertising revenues, then go and count all that up against the same numbers for women's leagues in the country. Oh, and while you're at it ask your fellow women if they'd be prepared to spend less money on clothing and other fashion accessories in order to go out and support their 'sisters' by watching them play professional sports so that they too can earn as much as the guys. The sad and rather pathetic fact is that so few women take an interest in sports as a rule that you'd probably find more men watching women's sports on TV than actual women.
Bugs | 01.26.16 @ 21:03
It probably has more to do with marketing than with either gender or talent. Single-A baseball players are professional and some even make it to the big leagues. And there's more than one Arena League player with NFL experience. But neither, despite being male, makes squat.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 12.05.16 @ 16:44
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