Four soccer powerhouses are squaring off in the two-leg Champions League semifinals that began on May 5. There’s royalty everywhere you look, as Real Madrid and FC Barcelona of Spain, Juventus of Italy, and Bayern Munich of Germany remain, each sporting one of the most prestigious and talented programs that exist in soccer today. This is only the fifth time that all four semifinalists are previous winners.
The star power of all four teams makes this year’s Champions League semifinals must-watch television. With names like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, James Rodriguez, Paul Pogba, Franck Ribery, Mario Gotze, among others, all four teams bring an embarrassment of riches to soccer fans worldwide.
Focusing on that star power, a financial report on European soccer clubs provided by Ticketbis allows readers to understand how much money these teams are spending to bring in all of this elite talent. Real Madrid’s last “big” signing was James Rodriguez, which took €80 million to attract the Columbian to Spain. The club’s franchise player is Cristiano Ronaldo, who is earning €27 million per season.
Bayern Munich’s Mehdi Benatia and Robert Lewandowski were the two most recent “big” signings for the club. Although Lewandowski didn’t cost the team anything for the transfer, Benatia’s fee was €26 million. Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery and Mario Gotze each earn a touch over €6 million.
Barcelona owns the most expensive transfer fee with the acquisition of Luis Suarez, who was acquired for €81 million, but was still 20 percent lower than what was paid for both of last season’s priciest transfers, Gareth Bale and Neymar. Bale’s signing cost Real Madrid €100 million, while Neymar’s move to F.C Barcelona is still being investigated by the courts. Barcelona’s global superstar Lionel Messi earns €36 million and has the highest salary in the sport. After Messi’s two goals in the first leg of Barcelona’s semifinal matchup with Bayern Munich he now has 77 Champions League goals, topping Ronaldo by one for most all-time.
Lastly, Juventus’ franchise players Carlos Tevez and Paul Pogba earn €4.5 million per season. Their most expensive transfer was Alvaro Morata, which the team spent €20 million for.
Of the top five soccer players on earth (Robin Van Persie, Thiago Silva, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi), three of them are playing in one of the two Champions League semifinal games.
Champions League tickets for the second leg start from $396 for next Wednesday’s match between Juventus and Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain. Tuesday’s Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich game at Allianz Arena in Munich has tickets from $551, according to international ticket reseller Ticketbis.
As the Champions League semifinals continue, know that much more than just soccer is on the line for these clubs. There is an enormous financial impact that weighs on every team depending on the results of their matches.