Samuel Eto'o is on his way to Russia, where billionaire oligarch Suleyman Kerimov will make him the highest paid footballer in the world. All the 30-year-old has to do is pass a medical and play with Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos for small-club-with-big-ambitions Anzhi Makhachkala in the Russian province of Dagestan and he'll reportedly get €20 million per season over the next three years.
From the AP:
While financial terms were not disclosed, Eto'o is expected to be paid €20 million ($29 million) net per season, eclipsing the estimated €12 million ($17.4 million) that Cristiano Ronaldo earns at Real Madrid and the €10.5 million ($15.2 million) that Lionel Messi is paid by Barcelona.
After a week of negotiations in Milan, the transfer fee was reportedly set between €25 and €27 million ($36 and $39 million).
Not only does this deal put the former Inter and Barcelona striker well ahead of Cristiano and Messi, it also means he's getting paid more than the NBA's highest-paid player, Kobe Bryant ($25.2 million) and takes home more than Major League Baseball's highest-paid player, Alex Rodriguez, who is making $32 million this year before taxes. That means Eto'o might be the world's highest-salaried athlete, according to the Wall Street Journal.
This could be good news for Eto'o's Cameroon teammates, though. Last season, he spent $1.3 million buying each one of them a $42,000 watch. An amount of money that Samuel will probably now refer to as "chump change."
Outside of finding a place to keep all that money, Eto'o will have a few more serious concerns. Like the fact that Anzhi players live and train in Moscow for security reasons and must fly 1,250 miles 15 times a season for "home" matches, according to the BBC. Also, racial abuse from Russian Premier League fans in Roberto Carlos' short time with the club has driven the defender to consider retirement. But it seems Samuel considers these to be minor inconveniences for the money he's been promised.
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- Anzhi Makhachkala
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Lionel Messi