Women’s sports have never received the same amount of attention or funding as men’s sports. Thankfully, things are beginning to change. Audiences and viewing figures are on the rise – particularly after the success of the Lionesses in the Euros.

We all know that sports – and especially football – are huge money makers. Player contracts might seem impossibly high, but the money made through sponsorships, ticket sales and licensing keep the teams viable.

Since women’s sports don’t receive the same level of media coverage, there is less pull for sponsors. The knock-on effect is that female players typically have far lower salaries than male players do.

Just like ticket sales and viewership figures, however, player salaries are a useful way to track rising interest in women’s sports.

With so much talent on the pitch, let’s look at which female players top the list of the best football stars:

Sam Kerr, Chelsea

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Australian player Sam Kerr is reportedly the highest paid player in women’s football. Kerr has played for Chelsea since 2020, after spending the early years of her career playing in both Australia and the United States. She also plays for Australia and captained her team to their best-ever Olympic finish in 2021.

Kerr reportedly earns around £417,000 annually. She has certainly earned this salary, considering she is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world. In 2022, she was named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year.

Vivianne Miedema, Arsenal

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Vivianne Miedema is another player in the running for the top striker in the world. Miedema is a Dutch player who is currently playing for Arsenal. Her talent is recognised by the team, and they are happy to pay a reported £382,500 per year to keep her on side.

Since signing with Arsenal in 2017, Miedema has continued to play internationally for the Netherlands. She broke her country’s all-time scoring record at only 22 years old. Not only is she a fast and aggressive player, Miedema is also considered a clever player who can keep her opponents guessing.

Alex Morgan, San Diego Wave

Alex Morgan footballer

Alex Morgan is our third highest paid women’s football player. She earns a reported £340,000 playing for the San Diego Wave. Another talented striker, Morgan is considered one of the most influential athletes in the United States. Morgan’s popularity and skill was recognised by the video game industry when they made her one of the players on the cover of FIFA 16.

Morgan has spent almost the entirety of her career playing in the United States, with the exception of a six-month period at Lyon and a brief stint with Tottenham Hotspur. Morgan may be best remembered by British fans as the player who celebrated her 2019 World Cup goal against England by miming drinking a cup of tea.

Fran Kirby, Chelsea

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Fran Kirby is the first English player on our list and also the first non-striker. The Chelsea forward is reportedly paid £310,250 per year. Her youth career and the first few years of her senior career were spent with Reading, but she has been playing for Chelsea since 2015. She also plays for England internationally.

She is integral to Chelsea’s success in recent years. Kirby was voted FWA’s Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2021. She was also one of the key players in England’s UEFA World Cup victory in 2022. She is an impressive player whose skills have been honed throughout her career.

Pernille Harder, Chelsea

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Chelsea has established a reputation for being willing to pay their players what they are worth, which allows them to attract the top talent in the world. Pernille Harder is a forward or attacking midfielder from Denmark who has also found a home at Chelsea since 2020. She earns a reported £301,750 annually. Harder has also played for Denmark since 2009.

Harder is an incredibly talented player who became Denmark’s record goalscorer with 66 goals in 129 games. She has played across Europe, spending seasons in Denmark, Sweden and Germany before being swooped up by Chelsea. Since she joined Chelsea, she has scored 19 goals in 42 appearances.

Alex Greenwood, Manchester City

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Just like Chelsea, Manchester City is a team known for being willing and able to pay to acquire the best talent. Alex Greenwood is one of those players, making a reported £200,000 a year.

Greenwood is the only defender on our list, which shows just how talented she is. She is one of the best set piece specialists in the WSL. She has also provided essential support for the England team, including stepping up to captain it during the 2023 Arnold Cup.