Salary of a Goalkeeper

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Top-paid goalkeepers are expected to make game-changing saves.
Top-paid goalkeepers are expected to make game-changing saves. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Professional goalkeepers can command significant salaries. Major League Soccer goalkeeper salaries can vary tremendously between each team within the league. Premiership soccer goalkeepers earn significantly more than their American counterparts because of wider sport-appeal in Europe. Goalkeeper salaries can be significant but are often dwarfed by other soccer positions. Additionally, soccer goalkeeper salaries are influenced by a mix of individual and team performance.

MLS Goalkeeper Salaries

Major League Soccer goalkeeper compensation swings wildly between each team. Pay is heavily influenced by individual ranking and team budget. Salaries can be as low as $40,000 per year for rookie goalkeepers on nonwinning teams. Alternatively, pay at the higher-end of the spectrum can be as high as $300,000 per year. But the majority of MLS goalkeepers earn less than $100,000 annually, according to 2010 data from “USA Today.”

Premier League Goalkeeper Salaries

Professional soccer teams in Europe are paid much larger sums, in comparison with American teams. European soccer players, known as “footballers,” earn more pay because of the sport’s tremendous popularity i that part of the world. As a result, Premiership goalkeepers can earn significantly more, with the average salary at $848,000 according to “The Independent.” Top goalkeepers can earn more than $7 million annually, according to 2011 data from the Bleacher Report.

Goalkeeper vs. Others

Pro goalkeeper salaries can pale in comparison to some other soccer positions. Forward and midfield positions, generally known for their scoring abilities, top the list of highest paid professional soccer players. Top salaries for U.S. superstar midfielders can exceed $6 million, according to 2010 data from “USA Today.” In contrast, top-talent strikers in Europe can earn a staggering $15 million or more per year, according to 2011 data from the Bleacher Report.

Salary Influences

Top goalkeeper salaries are linked to winning teams and superior talent. Soccer clubs with winning records and championship experience generate large crowds. The fervor of the crowd is critical in order to support larger and larger goalkeeper salaries. Additionally, each goalkeeper is ranked against other players in the league using statistics such as saves, minutes played and shutouts. Accordingly, higher-ranked players stand the best chance of achieving substantial paychecks.

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