Eto'o tops football pay list: £18m a year

Samuel Eto'oCameroonian striker Samuel Eto'o (right) has played football in Barcelona and Milan, Now he is to ply his trade in the war-torn north Caucasus region of Russia, for a team called Anzhi Makhachkala that finished 11th in last season's Russian Premier League. A reported salary of £18m a year probably swung it.
The deal makes Eto'o the world's highest-paid footballer – ahead of Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid. That deal breaks down to £1,438,333m a month; £364,583 a week; £52,083 a day and an hourly rate of £2,170. Eto'o will be earning 60p every second.

Anzhi is owned by that almost essential character in modern football – "a mysterious Russian oligarch". In this case it's Suleiman Kerimov, who has an estimated wealth of $7.8bn. He made his money by buying the company which emerged from the former Soviet oil export monopoly.

Roberto Carlos

He bought the club in January and has poured money into it. The transfer fee for Eto'o is £22m. In August the club paid Chelsea £13m for Russian international Yuri Zhirkov and legendary Brazilian defender Roberto Carlos is already on the books. Barcelona's Dani Alves is rumoured to be the next target in a £35m deal.

Kerimov plans to invest €1bn in the club, building state-of-the-art facilities and five-star hotels. For now, Anzhi's players live and train in a suburb of Moscow and are flown in for home matches. It probably also helps to be away from the conflict between Islamic insurgents and state authorities.

Eto's pay packet is a long way from the £1,667 a year a member of Manchester United's League-title-winning side of 1956/57 would have earned. When English football's maximum wage was abolished, Johnny Haynes of Fulham became the first £100-a-week player. Since then, the landmark deals have been;
  • 1979: Peter Shilton becomes best-p[aid player in Britain on £1,200 a week and Nottingham Forest
  • 1994: Chris Sutton is first £10,000 a week player after Blackburn Rovers, bankrolled by steel magnate Jack Walker, buy him from Norwich.
  • 2000: Roy Keane of Manchester United is the first past the £50k mark with a £52,000 a week deal at Manchester United.
  • 2001: Sol Campbell's controversial free transfer from Spurs to Arsenal makes him the first £100,000 a week player.
  • 2010: With a weekly wage of £286,000, Carlos Tevez of Manchester City becomes the first £1m-a-month player.

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