Soccer star Sam Kerr earned an eye-watering $3.3 million last year thanks to her football salary and major sports brand endorsements.
The Matildas skipper, who holds Australia’s all-time goal-scoring record, captured the hearts of the nation in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup after leading Australia to fourth place.
Kerr was among the highest-paid players in the competition, bringing home a pay packet that is estimated to be more than 10 times higher than her Australian teammates, according to analysis by the Australian Financial Review.
The AFR reports the 29-year-old striker earned $3.3 million last year through her Chelsea FCW salary and endorsements with Nike and EA Sports — more than double the income of the next best-paid Matildas star, defender Ellie Carpenter, at $1.2 million.
Kerr’s partnership with Nike is reportedly worth $1 million and she also has a deal with Mastercard, on top of her Chelsea contract, which is reportedly worth more than $600,000 a season.
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The star also became the first female soccer player to feature on the cover of a global version of the hugely popular EA Sports FIFA video game 2023 edition, pictured next to France’s Kylian Mbappé.
The income of other Matildas stars pales in comparison, with Carpenter the only Aussie teammate to crack seven figures.
Emily van Egmond came in a distant third after earning just short of $400,000, followed by Lydia Williams and Alanna Kennedy at $354,000 and Katrina Gorry at $330,000, according to the AFR.
Seven Matildas players earned between $200,000 and $300,000, with 20-year-old Mary Fowler topping the bracket at $284,738.
The remaining teammates’ income ranged from $100,000 to just shy of $185,000.
While Kerr may be one of the best-paid female soccer players, her earnings fall considerably short of her male peers.
Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest-paid athlete in the world this year, after a move to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr Football Club nearly doubled his salary to $US136 million ($A210 million), according to Forbes.
Forbes reports the 38-year-old has made $US46 million ($A71 million) on the field and another $US90 million ($A139 million) in sponsorships and marketing opportunities.
Fierce rival Lionel Messi also takes home an eye-watering $US130 million ($A200 million), half of which is from a wealth of lucrative endorsements, making him the second highest-paid athlete this year.
Sam Kerr celebrates with teammates during the Matildas’ FIFA Women’s World Cup clash with England. Credit: Getty Images
Third place was claimed by yet another soccer star, Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain teammate Mbappé, who earned $US120 million ($A185 million) last year.
Kerr’s earnings are also overshadowed by the highest-paid players in this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, with the US’s Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe earning $US7.1 million ($A11 million) and $US7 million ($A10.8 million) respectively and Spain’s Alexia Putellas on $4 million ($A6.1 million), according to Forbes.
But again, these earnings are easily dwarfed by those of their male counterparts.
No female athletes placed in Forbes’s top 10 highest-paid athletes of 2023, which ranks leading sportspeople based on prize money, salaries, bonuses, sponsorships, appearance fees and licensing income.
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