The best-paid XI stars at World Cup 2022 – who earn combined £5.2m a WEEK – including Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi | The Sun
THE World Cup is nearly here as the best players from across the globe come together in Qatar.
A few notable absentees will be missed – including the likes of Erling Haaland, Mohamed Salah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Martin Odegaard and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
But the vast majority of the world's best will be in the Middle East for the tournament – which is taking place at the end of the year for the first time since it began.
And SunSport has taken the time to look at which players are the best-paid heading into the World Cup.
Five of the 11 players which make up the "best-paid XI" ply their trade in the Premier League.
France are the most represented country with three names in there, while England has just one representative.
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MANUEL NEUER – GERMANY
Manuel Neuer is not actually the best paid goalkeeper out there – that goes to Manchester United's David De Gea.
But he was snubbed by Spain and left at home to play with his £375,000 per week.
So instead, German legend Neuer, on £298,000-a-week, is the best paid stopper in Qatar.
TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD – ENGLAND
Liverpool right-back Alexander-Arnold, 24, wasn't even a certain pick by Gareth Southgate.
His form for the Reds, certainly from a defensive point of view, has been highly questioned this season.
But he's loved at Anfield and that's why he's paid a whopping £180,000-a-week.
It makes him the highest-paid right-back going to the World Cup – narrowly ahead of Morocco and PSG man Achraf Hakimi.
RAPHAEL VARANE – FRANCE
The first of three Manchester United stars in this team.
Varane, 29, was handed a £340,000-a-week deal when he made the switch from the Bernabeu to Old Trafford last year.
And he will be hoping he can help France retain the World Cup in Qatar, a tournament he proved instrumental in helping them win four years ago.
MATTHIJS DE LIGT – HOLLAND
Matthijs de Ligt joins Varane at centre-back.
That's partly thanks to the absence of the better paid Sergio Ramos – who was overlooked by Spain – and David Alaba whose nation Austria failed to qualify.
Dutchman De Ligt swapped Juventus for Bayern Munich in the summer and picks up £265,000-a-week for the German giants.
LUCAS HERNANDEZ – FRANCE
Perhaps a surprise inclusion for many, Hernandez joins De Ligt as the only Bundesliga stars to make this team.
The French defender, 26, can play both centre-back and left-back and has done for several years for Bayern Munich.
His lucrative deal sees him earn £240,000 each week.
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CASEMIRO – BRAZIL
Yet another Manchester United man and a window into just how much the Red Devils are paying their players during this turbulent spell at the club.
Brazilian star Casemiro, 30, joined from Real Madrid and managed to secure a £350,000-a-week pay packet.
The World Cup is the one trophy missing from the midfielder's glittering mantlepiece – which includes five Champions League winners medals.
KEVIN DE BRUYNE – BELGIUM
Manchester City's only member of this team is their midfield maestro De Bruyne.
The 31-year-old Belgian is on £400,000-a-week at the Etihad, making him their best-paid player – even with the addition of Erling Haaland.
LIONEL MESSI – ARGENTINA
Messi's £750,000-a-week wages are enough to see him secure a place in this team.
The Argentine, 35, may still be searching for his first World Cup but he is perhaps the greatest player to ever grace the game – so it's no surprise PSG are paying him that sort of figure.
NEYMAR – BRAZIL
Brazilian talisman Neymar, 30, will be hoping to lead his country to a first World Cup in two decades later this year.
The PSG man earns £600,000-a-week in the French capital, but that pales in comparison to the main man in Paris…
KYLIAN MBAPPE – FRANCE
The deal Mbappe agreed with PSG earlier this year makes him the best-paid player in the world by some distance.
It is a ludicrous two-year contract with the option of an additional year should the Frenchman take it up.
It currently sees Mbappe, 23, earn around £1.6MILLION per WEEK.
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CRISTIANO RONALDO – PORTUGAL
The fourth and final Manchester United man and the striker of this best-paid XI.
Ronaldo, 37, is now predominantly an impact substitute at Old Trafford following the arrival of Erik ten Hag.
But that doesn't stop Portugal's Euro 2016 winner from raking in £500,000 every week.
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