Dario Conca - The Footballer Who Earns More Than Messi & Ronaldo

In the wake of rumours circulating that Cristiano Ronaldo is currently unhappy with his pay at Real Madrid, an article looking at one of the players who surprisingly earns more than him – Dario Conca.

Spanish paper Marca. So how has someone that barely anyone has ever heard of landed himself such a huge contract? The fact that most people have never heard of Dario Conca instantly lets you know that he is not playing in one of the world€™s most famous leagues. Indeed the 29 year old Argentinean plies his trade in China, for Guangzhou Evergrande. Like Messi, he is an attacking midfielder and of a similar height, measuring at around 5ft 5.5 inches. However, the similarities stop there. Unlike his compatriot, Conca hasn€™t even been capped for his country, only representing them at youth level. It would be unfair though to claim that Conca is a man devoid of any talent. Before his move to Guangzhou the attacking midfielder was playing for Fluminense in Brazil, where he was voted player of the year. It was this sort of form which saw the Chinese side part with $10 million to secure his services, in addition to offering him a contract worth ‚10.6 million. This is higher than the ‚10.5 million Lionel Messi receives and the ‚10 million that Cristiano Ronaldo earns (as reported by Marca). Undoubtedly this is an enormous amount of money for Guangzhou to part with, especially for someone who is by no means a marquee name. However, the purchase has been justified, and so far the diminutive Argentine has netted 18 goals in 33 appearances, helping the club win the Chinese FA Super Cup in February this year. His arrival has seen the club grow and continue to expand, emphasised by their purchase of Lucas Barrios from Dortmund. The fee for the Paraguayan striker broke the national record, previously held by Conca, and Barrios€™ clear goal scoring pedigree showed the club€™s desire to challenge for major honours. So what does Conca€™s salary show us? Well it merely emphasises the willingness of growing football nations, such as China and America, to pump money into their national league. Moreover it leaves us with one question in mind; how much would Guangzhou be willing to pay a global superstar like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? Marca report that none of these players are the best paid in the world. Indeed, three players from the Premier League (Rooney - ‚13.8 million, Toure - ‚13 million and Aguero - ‚12.5 million) earn more than Conca, Messi & Ronaldo. Top of the high earners list is Samuel Eto'o who earns a staggering ‚20 million at Russian club Anzhi.

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Simon is an NCTJ qualified sports journalist. He has conducted interviews with Tony Adams and Peter Shilton, while also having work published in The Daily Telegraph and The Sun. Follow him on Twitter via @sr_collings.