When then-shortstop Alex Rodriguez signed his exorbitant $250 million contract with the Texas Rangers, he didn't actually sign a contract to take home $25 million per year over the life of the contract. In the United States and many other countries, somewhere in the neighborhood of half of the paycheck of someone in that income bracket will go to taxes. At the end of the day, even in tax-light Texas, Rodriguez saw about $13-15 million of that check after taxes. He was regarded as the most ridiculously paid athlete in the history of sports. If Samuel Eto'o decides to move from Inter Milan to Anzhi Mahkachkala, he will make Rodriguez look underpaid.
Anzhi, recently purchased by billionaire Suleyman Kerimov, is quickly establishing themselves as a new world power with their big signings. Eto'o is on the verge of becoming what Robinho was to Manchester City, only on a much larger scale. To lure the Cameroonian international to Russia, Anzhi are willing to pay him an astronomical $25.5 million per year after taxes. It would cost a team in the United States or the EU $50-57 million to match that offer. This would make Eto'o the highest paid athlete in the world - excluding sponsorships - by a country mile.
Anzhi and Inter Milan have agreed to a fee and the Russian club has tabled a bid to Eto'o. Now, all the superstar striker has to do is sign on the dotted line. All that's stopping him are the potential trophies he can win at Inter and possibly undesirable lifestyle during the season in Russia.