Although major league soccer ranks fifth among the highest paying sports, three Latino soccer players ranked in the top ten of the current Forbes’ list of top earning athletes. They occupy the 2nd, 3rd and 5th spots. All three footballers ranked ahead of NBA mega star, Lebron James. It pays to be on top. Major league soccer players earn an average annual salary of about $1.6 million, but many Latino soccer players cost their teams far above that average.  The following list ranks 17 of the most expensive Latino footballers.

#17 Proving His Worth

30-year-old Renato Augusto is a natural along the middle third. Two years on ago, Beijing Guoan paid a $9 million fee to secure his services. By posting 73 appearances and 18 goals, he has justified that expense and his annual $7.4 million salary.

#16 Happy Returns

After playing only one season with Barcelona, Paulinho re-joined Guangzhou Evergrande. The Chinese club has the option of purchasing the Brazilian midfielder next summer. In any event, his purchase price is expected to be much more than the $46 million Barcelona paid to acquire him.  His present annual salary is $8 million.

#15 Another Chinese Super League Star

In early 2016, Chinese club Jiang Suning paid the $56.6 million transfer fee to acquire the services of Alex Teixeira.  The attacking midfielder had a productive seven-year stint with Shakhtar Donetsk. He scored 89 goals and helped Shakhtar win five Ukrainian Premier wins.  His current annual salary is $13.6 million.

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