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Forbes’ List: Cristiano Ronaldo Overtakes Lionel Messi as Highest Paid Footballer



Manchester United star striker, Cristiano Ronaldo has outshined Lionel Messi to become the world’s highest-paid soccer player, according to the latest update by Forbes.

Lionel Messi has six Ballon d’Or trophies to Cristiano Ronaldo’s five; however, the Portuguese forward has won more Champions League trophies than his Argentine rival.

The two megastars have been competing for the top awards in football for over a decade now and one major category that Messi was leading is the Forbes’ list of highest-paid soccer players. However, the latest update by Forbes, the Manchester United star has surpassed Messi to become the world’s highest-paid soccer player.

The player’s earnings in the 2021-22 season was over $125 million before taxes, with about $70 million coming from salary and bonus for his return to United. The remaining, approximately $55 million is said to come from personal endorsements and partnerships with brands including Nike, Herbalife, Clear, and his ever-expanding CR7-branded portfolio that includes perfume, underwear, eyewear, hotels, gyms, and more.

There are only three other active athletes that make more through commercial, Roger Federer ($65 million), LeBron James ($65 million), and Tiger Woods ($60 million).

Messi earns a total of $110 million after he made the switch from Barcelona to PSG this year, where his salary is $75 million and another $35 million in endorsements from the likes of Adidas, Pepsi, watchmaker Jacobs & Co, and Budweiser.

The remaining highest paid footballers are Neymar €81 million,  French forward Kylian Mbappé €37 million, Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah €35 million, Robert Lewandowski, Andrés Iniesta €30 million, Paul Pogba €29 million, Gareth Bale €27.3 million and Eden Hazard €24.7 million.


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