These 12 Pro Sports Teams Pay Their Players The Most (Worldwide) And The NBA Is Killing It

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It’s hard for me to imagine being a professional athlete and getting paid weekly. Throughout my adult life, I’ve only ever been paid bi-weekly or monthly. Getting a check (or cash) each week would feel like a throwback to getting a childhood allowance except on this scale these global athletes are getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars (on average) every week.

Each year, Sporting Intelligence releases a report of which professional sports teams pay their players the most (on average). They calculate the average weekly pay (and annual pay) of their players to put the list together across ALL major sports and this is always a fun list to check out because they’re able to effectively compare apples to oranges (soccer to basketball, etc) in a way that makes sense.

NBA teams straight up dominate this year’s list of the highest-paying professional sports teams but interestingly there isn’t an NBA team occupying any of the top three spots on the list. You probably won’t be shocked to discover that the top two spots go to Real Madrid and Barcelona F.C. in Spain’s La Liga. The third spot on the list is occupied by Italy’s Juventus F.C. which was previously ranked #9 but has skyrocketed up the list with the addition of global superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s wages.

For the second year in a row, Barcelona is the highest-paying team in the world. They have an average annual pay of $12,284,555 which breaks down to average weekly pay of $236,241. Real Madrid is #2 for the second year with an average annual pay of $11,154,692 which breaks down to $214,513 average weekly pay for the players.

Juventus slots into the #3 slot with $10,106,647 annual pay and $194,359 per week. That’s where the NBA teams join the list. NBA teams occupy #’s 4 thorugh 11 on the list. The #4 Portland Trail Blazers pay an average of $10,039,828 per year which translates to $193,074 per week. Portland is up to #4 this year from their #14 ranking last year.

Here’s how the rest of the list looks:


If you’re interested in how this list comes together and why those teams are paying out so much this year you can click here to visit the Sporting Intelligence website and go over their findings.