Volleyball is a popular sport that has garnered immense interest globally. It has been around for more than a century, and over the years, it has evolved into a competitive sport that commands high salaries for its best players. The talent and skill of the players are rewarded handsomely, making the sport a lucrative career choice for many.
This article will provide insights into the top 10 highest-paid male volleyball players in the world.
Top 10 Highest Paid Male Volleyball Players in the World – 2023 Update
10. Ivan Zaytsev – $620,000
Ivan Zaytsev, often referred to as “the Zar” in the world of volleyball, is an Italian professional volleyball player of Russian descent. Born on October 2, 1988, in Spoleto, Italy, Zaytsev has made significant contributions to the sport, both at the national and international levels.
Zaytsev’s career in volleyball began at a young age, following in the footsteps of his father, Vyacheslav Zaytsev, who was a well-known volleyball player in his own right. His professional career took off when he signed with RPA-LuigiBacchi.it in 2004. Over the years, he has played for several leading clubs including M. Roma Volley, Lube Banca Macerata, Dinamo Moscow, and Sir Safety Perugia among others.
In terms of accomplishments, Ivan Zaytsev has an impressive list to his name. As an integral part of the Italian national team, Zaytsev led his team to victory in the 2015 European Championship. He was instrumental in securing the silver medal for Italy at the 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro. In addition to these, he has been a part of three World League bronze-winning teams and was awarded “Best Server” at the 2014 World Championship.
His club success is also noteworthy. With Dinamo Moscow, he won the Russian Championship in the 2012-13 season. During his tenure with Sir Safety Perugia, they clinched the Italian Cup and Italian Super Cup in the 2017-18 season.
9. Aleksandar Atanasijevichane – $800,000
Born in Belgrade, Serbia, Aleksandar Atanasijevichan’s journey in volleyball began at an early age. His natural talent and skill quickly propelled him into the professional arena, where he has been making his mark ever since. Atanasijevichan’s professional career took a significant upturn when he joined the Serbian Men’s National Volleyball Team. With his impressive performances and consistent scoring, he played a pivotal role in leading the team to several international victories.
One of the significant highlights of Atanasijevichan’s career was his extraordinary performance in the European Championship. His exceptional skills and strategic gameplay were instrumental in Serbia’s triumph, earning him widespread acclaim and recognition. Furthermore, he has consistently been a high scorer in numerous World Championships, contributing significantly to his team’s success on multiple occasions.
In addition to his team victories, Aleksandar Atanasijevichan has also earned numerous individual accolades that stand as a testament to his prowess on the court. He was named “Best Opposite Spiker” at the World Cup, an honour that acknowledges his powerful and precise attacks. He has also received the prestigious “Best Server” award multiple times, demonstrating his versatility and comprehensive mastery of the game.
8. Matt Anderson – $850,000
Anderson, who was born in Buffalo, New York, began his illustrious journey at Penn State University where he was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Player of the Year in his junior year.
Matt Anderson’s prowess on the court was not limited to his university years. Following graduation, he embarked on a professional volleyball career that has taken him across the globe and earned him a reputation as one of the sport’s top players.
Anderson’s first significant achievement came when he was named USA Volleyball’s Indoor Male Athlete of the Year in 2012. His stellar performance on the global stage continued when he led the US national team to win gold at the 2014 FIVB World League and then again at the 2015 FIVB World Cup. His commanding presence and formidable skills were instrumental in securing these victories.
In addition to his team accomplishments, Matt Anderson has also achieved personal recognition on numerous occasions. He was named Best Server at the 2014 World League and later the Best Outside Spiker at the 2015 World Cup. His crowning personal achievement came in 2016 when he was selected as USA Volleyball’s Male Indoor Player of the Year for the second time.
7. György Grozer – $870,000
György Grozer, a Hungarian-born German volleyball player, has made significant contributions to the sport and has accomplished remarkable feats in his illustrious career. Standing at 6’6″, Grozer is a formidable presence on the court, marked by his intimidating spike serves and powerful attacks. His exceptional athleticism combined with his strategic acumen has led him to become one of the most respected figures in international volleyball.
Grozer’s accomplishments are numerous and impressive. He started his professional career in 2005 with the German club VfB Friedrichshafen, where he quickly established himself as a powerhouse player. During his time at VfB Friedrichshafen, Grozer played a pivotal role in leading the team to victory in the CEV Champions League in 2007. His next stint was with the Russian club Belogorie Belgorod, where he won the Russian Championship, Russian Cup, and once again the CEV Champions League.
Internationally, György Grozer has been just as influential. He was a part of the German national team that won a bronze medal at the 2014 World Championship and has represented Germany in multiple international tournaments including the European Championships and World Cup. Grozer has received several individual accolades as well, including being named ‘Best Server’ at the 2014 FIVB World Championship and ‘Most Valuable Player’ at the 2015 CEV Champions League.
6. Bartosz Kurek – $920,000
Bartosz Kurek, a Polish professional volleyball player, has achieved remarkable success with his performance in the sports industry. His journey to prominence began at a young age, and his dedication to the game has led him to become one of Poland’s most decorated athletes.
Kurek’s impressive list of achievements is a testament to his prowess on the volleyball court. Born on August 29,1988, Kurek started his professional career in 2005 with ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle. His exceptional performance caught the attention of many and he soon became a vital player for Poland’s national team.
One of the most significant accomplishments of Bartosz Kurek includes being named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the 2018 World Championships. His contribution was instrumental in leading the Polish team to victory in this prestigious tournament. This achievement not only solidified Kurek’s position as one of the world’s top volleyball players but also marked a historic moment for Polish volleyball.
Not only that but Bartosz Kurek has also won numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career, including Best Opposite Spiker and Best Server awards in different leagues. He was also bestowed with the Gold Cross of Merit by the President of Poland for his outstanding sports achievements and for promoting Poland on an international level.
5. Robertlandy Simón – $950, 000
Robertlandy Simón, a Cuban volleyball player, has carved an impressive niche for himself in the realm of international volleyball. Born on 11 June 1987, Simón has been a pillar of strength and a symbol of exceptional talent for his teams. His remarkable height of 2.08 meters makes him a formidable player on the court, but it is his skill and strategy that truly sets him apart. Throughout his career, he has played for clubs in South Korea, Qatar, Brazil, and Italy, leaving an indelible mark with his performances.
His accomplishments are numerous and continue to grow with each passing year. Robertlandy Simón’s excellence in the game is evident from his numerous awards. He was named the Best Middle Blocker at the 2009 NORCECA Championship and received the same honor at the World Championship later that year. In 2010, he was declared the Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the World League, further cementing his status as one of the most skilled players in the sport.
In addition to his individual accolades, Robertlandy Simón has also contributed significantly to team successes. He played a key role in Cuba’s silver medal finish at the 2010 World Championships and led his team to victory at the 2015 Pan American Games. Currently, he plays for Cucine Lube Civitanova in Italy where he continues to display his prowess on the court. His powerful attacks and solid defense are a spectacle to behold and a nightmare for opponents.
4. Earvin N’Gapeth – $1 Million
Earvin N’Gapeth is a renowned professional volleyball player who hails from France. Born on 12th February 1991, N’Gapeth has carved a niche for himself in the world of volleyball due to his exceptional skills and dynamic playing style. He is widely recognized as a versatile player, proficient in both offense and defense, and has been instrumental in leading his teams to numerous victories.
N’Gapeth’s career is adorned with a plethora of accomplishments. In the year 2015 and 2016, he was named the Best Outside Spiker by FIVB World League. He played a significant role in helping France win the gold at the 2015 World League, the European Championship in 2015, and the World Cup in 2017.
His individual brilliance has also been recognized on multiple occasions; he was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the CEV Champions League in 2017 and the FIVB Club World Championship in 2019.
In addition to his national successes, N’Gapeth has achieved remarkable feats playing for clubs like Modena Volley and Zenit Kazan. With Modena Volley, he won the Italian Championship and Italian Cup in 2016. At Zenit Kazan, he played alongside other prominent players like Dmitry Muserskiy, contributing significantly to their victory in the Russian Championship and Russian Cup in 2020.
3. Dmitry Muserskiy – $1 Million
Born on October 29, 1988, Muserskiy is widely recognized for his exceptional height, standing at 2.18 meters (approximately 7 feet 2 inches), making him one of the tallest athletes in the world. However, it is not just his physical stature that sets him apart, but also his remarkable skill set and contributions to the game of volleyball.
Muserskiy’s professional career took off in 2006 when he joined Belogorie Belgorod, a prominent Russian volleyball club. His performance quickly propelled him into the international arena where he represented Russia in various tournaments. Among his most significant achievements is leading the Russian team to victory at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. His dominating performance in the final match against Brazil, where he scored a whopping 31 points, earned him immense recognition and praise.
In addition to his Olympic gold, Dmitry Muserskiy has also been an integral part of teams that have won numerous championships including the European Championship in 2013 and 2017, and the World League in 2011 and 2013. Moreover, he was a key player for Russia when they secured gold at the World Championship in 2011.
Alongside these team accomplishments, Muserskiy has also been lauded for his individual performances. He has been awarded the Best Middle Blocker at the World League (2011 & 2013) and was named Most Valuable Player at the Club World Championship in 2014.
2. Maxim Mikhaylov – $1.3 Million
Born on March 19, 1988, in Tayga, Mikhaylov has been instrumental in shaping the trajectory of Russian volleyball in the international sports community.
Throughout his career, Mikhaylov has consistently demonstrated remarkable agility, strategic acumen, and unwavering determination. His accomplishments are a testament to his talent and dedication to his sport. As an integral part of the Russian national team, he has significantly propelled the team to victory in various international competitions. He took center stage as a leading player in the FIVB World League, where he earned gold medals in 2011 and 2013. Moreover, he led the Russian team to an impressive victory in the 2012 London Olympics, bringing home the gold medal.
Mikhaylov’s individual achievements are equally impressive. He was named Best Spiker at the World Cup in 2011 and was honored as Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the 2012 Olympics and the 2013 European Championship. His performances have also earned him numerous accolades in domestic leagues; he has been a vital player for Zenit Kazan since 2008, leading the club to multiple Russian Championships and CEV Champions League titles.
1. Wilfredo Leon Venero – $66 Million
Number one on our list is Wilfredo Leon. Born in Santiago de Cuba, he began playing volleyball at the age of seven. Coached by his mother, he eventually made his national debut in 2008 at the age of fourteen. By 2009, he had won the ‘Best Receiver’ title at the World League and a silver medal at the World U21 Championships.
While he initially played for Cuba, he eventually left to play for a Russian club in 2014, with whom he won multiple leagues and cups. And in 2018, he joined the Italian club, SIR Safety Perugia. He’s also a member of the Polish national volleyball team (he became elligible after receiving his Polish citizenship in 2015).
Known for his powerful serves and spikes, Leon, who hails from Cuba, is highly regarded in the world of volleyball. He plays for the Russian club Zenit Kazan, and his annual earnings are estimated to be around 1.4 million euros.
If anything, these top 10 highest-paid male volleyball players have contributed significantly to the popularity and growth of volleyball globally.
Over the years, they have showcased exceptional skills and talent, making them not only the highest-earning but also some of the most influential figures in the sport. Their success serves as a testament to the potential rewards and recognition that a career in professional volleyball can provide.