In moving from Juventus to Serie A rivals Inter Milan over two years ago, Zlatan Ibrahimovic made a massive
leap forward, not only in footballing terms, but also financially. The Sweden striker earned six million euros in his first season in Milan, and now pockets
almost twice as much – eleven million euros net to be precise. That should be enough to make Ibrahimovic the world’s
highest-paid player at the moment. In the 2008-2009 season, Inter Milan will spend 120 million euros on players’ wages. Ibrahimovic alone costs the club 20 million euros a year, as the rate of tax on the highest incomes in Italy is around 50 per cent. By comparison, Brazil’s Kaka, FIFA World Player of the Year in 2007, earns nine million euros at AC Milan, with team-mate
Ronaldinho picking up 7-5 million euros net per season. Yet Ibrahimovic could soon be knocked off the top of the earners list. The United Arab Emirates investment group ADUG, which bought Premier League club Manchester City for 250 million euros in September, is aiming to sign some top stars very soon. According to British media reports, ADUG chairman Sulaiman Al Fahim hopes to tempt Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) and Michael Essien (Chelsea) to Manchester with a net annual salary of 13 million euros each.