The astronomical wages earned by footballers is a topic that is subject to countless debate. Are our favourite athletes being overpaid for kicking a ball around a pitch? Or are they being justly rewarded for helping entertain and unite millions of people around the world, as well as generating big business for their clubs?

Whatever your view, it’s undeniable that professional footballers are amongst the best-paid people in the world. Today, we’ve taken a look at the five highest paid footballers in the world for 2017.

1. Carlos Tevez – £615,000 p/w

In what will come as surprising news to many, the highest-paid footballer in the world at the moment is actually the veteran Carlos Tevez, who plays for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua. The Argentine reportedly earns £615,000 per week. It is mind-boggling that the club are forking out such a massive amount of money to pay a player who, to put it bluntly, peaked around ten years ago and is now overweight and nearing the end of his career.

2. Neymar – £500,000 p/w

Neymar, who joined PSG from Barcelona for a world-record £198 million transfer fee this summer, is the second-highest-paid player in world football at the moment, earning a cool £500,000 per week. Considering the amount of money that they are paying him, Neymar needs to help the French club reach their aim of winning the UEFA Champions League.

2. Lionel Messi – £500,000 p/w

Lionel Messi, meanwhile, who was awarded a new contract by Barcelona during the summer, earns the equivalent of that of which Neymar receives. It is not surprising, considering that he is still one of the world’s best talents when on song. Barcelona also know that they need to pay the Argentine superstar a hefty amount if they wish to fend off interest from the likes of cash-rich clubs in China as well as Manchester City and PSG.

3. Ezequiel Lavezzi – £460,000 p/w

It is evident that the teams in the Chinese Super League are forking out heavy salaries in order to recruit the world’s best talent, and Argentina international Ezequiel Lavezzi reportedly pockets £460,000 per week to play for Hebei China Fortune.

4. Oscar – £432,600 p/w

Oscar, who surprisingly left Chelsea in January to link up with Shanghai SIPG in China, earns £432,600 per week. Many people were surprised to see that he left the Blues to join a Chinese club while at the prime of his career but considering the bucks that he is pocketing, it is not hard to imagine why.

5. Cristiano Ronaldo – £365,000 p/w

In fifth place lies the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo, who pockets £365,000 per week. Although many will accuse him of being a showoff and rightfully so, it is evident that the Portuguese superstar is mainly interested in winning trophies and values this over earning large sums of money.