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Cristiano Ronaldo overtakes Lionel Messi to become Forbes’ highest-paid footballer in the world

Cristiano Ronaldo overtakes Lionel Messi to become Forbes' highest-paid footballer in the world

The Manchester United forward, Cristiano Ronaldo is now Forbes’ highest-paid footballer in the world. The Portuguese has overtaken his greatest rival Lionel Messi in earnings. Forbes reveals that Ronaldo earns an astonishing $125 million per year in salaries ($70m) and endorsements ($50m).

Ronaldo earns $55 million of his annual income from commercial and sponsorship deals

Ronaldo earns $55 million of his annual income from commercial and sponsorship deals

Ronaldo is set to earn $125 million (£91.5m) before taxes during the 2021-22 season, with $70m (£51.25m) of that coming from his salary and bonuses from Manchester United. According to Forbes, the 36-year-old earns close to $55 million of his annual income from commercial and sponsorship deals. The brands comprise Nike, Herbalife, and the CR7 brand, which includes perfumes, clothing ranges, hotels, and gyms.

Ronaldo’s income through sponsorship deals is one of the highest in the sporting world. Only three active sportsmen are ahead of the Portuguese star in that regard. They are tennis legend Roger Federer ($90 million), basketball star LeBron James ($65 million), and golf king Tiger Woods ($60 million).

Meanwhile, Lionel Messi is second on the list, earning $110 million (£80.5m) during his first season at Paris Saint-Germain. Currently, Messi is sponsored by brands including Adidas, Pepsi, and Budweiser. His teammate Neymar is in third place with a total of $95 million from both salaries and deals.

Forbes’ top 10 highest-paid footballer

PlayerClub2021-22 Total earnings
Cristiano RonaldoManchester United$125m/
£91.5m
Lionel MessiParis Saint-Germain$110m/
£80.5m
NeymarParis Saint-Germain$95m/
£69.5m
Kylian MbappeParis Saint-Germain$43m/
£31.5m
Mohamed SalahLiverpool$41m/
£30m
Robert LewandowskiBayern Munich$35m/
£26m
Andres IniestaVissel Kobe$35m/
£26m
Paul PogbaManchester United $34m/
£25m
Gareth BaleReal Madrid$32m/
£23.5m
Eden HazardReal Madrid$29m/
£21m