It is hardly a surprise to see Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi top a list for the Top 10 of the world’s most highly paid professional footballers. They’ve mastered the game like no-one else for well over a decade and are still playing at a high level.
Finance experts Forbes has revealed a Top 10 of their own and the players in question are set to take a staggering $585 million in pre-tax earnings this season, which is an increase from $570m 12 months ago.
The headline focuses on how Ronaldo overtakes Messi for the No. 1 spot, following the Argentine’s shock transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo went a step bigger with an unbelievable homecoming at Manchester United.
The Portuguese superstar has scored four goals in his first three appearances for the Red Devils, while Messi has yet to open his account after playing the same amount of matches for PSG.
Forbes collected the data from clubs, agents and brand sponsors.
The figures do not come from transfer fees but salaries for the 2021-22 season as well as any contractual bonuses and revenue from commercial gigs.
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) – total earnings: $125m
- Lionel Messi (PSG) – total earnings: $110m
- Neymar (PSG) – total earnings: $95m
- Kylian Mbappe (PSG) – total earnings: $43m
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – total earnings: $41m
- Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) – total earnings: $35m
- Andres Iniesta (Vissel Kobe) – total earnings: $35m
- Paul Pogba (Manchester United) – total earnings: $34m
- Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) – total earnings: $32m
- Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) – total earnings: $29m