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Footballers smiling to the bank

They have enjoyed their two months of leave, holidaying around the world with their families and friends.

Now it’s back to the grind for South African footballers who are preparing for another gruelling season.

Teko Modise is one of Sout African football's best paid footballers. Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images. Credit: Gallo Images

They will have no breaks, not much time to relax and will have minimum time with their families and friends until next May.

Instead, they will spend the majority of their time on the training ground, in the gym, and on the soccer pitch, working hard to ensure they have a great season ahead.

They will also have to follow a strict diet to ensure that they are in peak fitness for the entire season.

This means dedicating their time to their careers. But is it all worth it for footballers in South Africa?

Well, if their salaries are anything to go by, it seems so.

The highest-paid players in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in South Africa make between R3.5 million and R5 million a year, according to a report compiled by football magazine KickOff last year.

The top six highest-paid PSL players include Sundowns player Teko Modise and Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala who earn about R300 000 to R450 000 a month.

Other players earning similar figures a month include Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and Sundowns stars Elias Pelembe and Anthony Laffor.

The figures exclude the endorsements that the players earn.

It is only recently that PSL clubs have been paying such high salaries. A few years ago, it was unimaginable for a PSL player to be earning so much.

Offering higher wages has attracted a number of big-name footballers to the PSL.

Last year, former Arsenal and West Ham star Luis Boa Morte joined defending champions Orlando Pirates. It was reported that Boa Morte would earn close to half a million a month.

Former Bafana Bafana star Benni McCarthy also returned to SA two years ago and signed for Soweto giants Orlando Pirates and was reported to be earning R450 000 a month.

While their wages seem staggering, SA footballers earn peanuts compared to their overseas counterparts.

The world’s highest paid footballer, Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo earns about R266 million a year from his club Real Madrid.

To break it down, the star midfielder earns about R22 million a month, R5 million a week, R735 000 a day, R39 000 an hour, and R626 a minute.

What the highest-paid players in SA earn in a year, the Portuguese star makes in less than ten days.

His monthly salary is three times the amount that the highest-paid footballers in SA earn in a year and his annual salary is 39 times more than what SA’s highest-paid footballers earn annually.

Also, the record transfer fee in PSL history for an internal transfer is R9 000 000, a figure that Ronaldo makes in a little under two weeks.

Other footballers who earn similar salaries to Ronaldo include Brazilian star Neymar, Argentinean forward Lionel Messi and Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovich.

Sources: KickOff and Forbes Magazines. - Saturday Star

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