Barcelona pay more money on average to each athlete every year than any sports club in the world, with Real Madrid close behind in second.
A report by Sporting Intelligence has complied salary data from the 278 clubs that make up the four major European Leagues – Spain, Italy, England and Germany.
That was then compared with figures in North American competitions baseball, basketball, football and ice hockey, as well as information from other major sports across the globe.
The report lists Barca as top for paying the best wages and closely followed by League rivals Madrid. Barca are listed as paying an average of €6.46m per player, ahead of Los Merengues’ €5.8m average annual payout to their playing staff.
Manchester City, Chelsea, LA Lakers, New York Yankees, Milan, Bayern Munich, Philadelphia Phillies and Inter complete the top 10.
Football is also listed as the sport that overall continues to pay its athletes the best wages in the world.
Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Carles Puyol all agreed new deals with Barcelona earlier this week, with Messi’s contract reported as paying out €16m net every year, including bonuses.