Cristiano Ronaldo overtakes Lionel Messi as highest earner in World football. Manchester United forward, Cristiano Ronaldo has overtaken Lionel Messi to become the highest earner in world football.
The Portugal captain will earn almost €107 million gross, including a salary of close to €60 million and more than €40 million in earnings from sponsorships and partnerships with brands including Nike, Herbalife and his CR7 brand, which includes perfumes, clothing ranges, hotels and gyms this season.
Only three athletes, Tennis legend Roger Federer (approximately €77 million), NBA star LeBron James (€55.5 million) and golfer Tiger Woods (€51 million) have more commercial earnings than Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo’s latest earnings have seen him automatically overtake Messi, whose move to PSG from Barcelona, will see him earn around €94 million gross, with a salary of €64 million, but with lower commercial earnings.
Argentine superstar, Lionel Messi is sponsored by brands including Adidas, Pepsi and Budweiser.
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar is the third-highest earner behind Ronaldo and Messi, according to the ranking. The Brazilian forward earns €81 million, despite having the same salary as his team-mate Messi.
Below is Forbes’ top ten list of the highest earners in world football in 2021-22:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – £91.5m ($125m)
2. Lionel Messi – £80.5m ($110m)
3. Neymar – £69.5m ($95m)
4. Kylian Mbappe – £31.5m ($43m)
5. Mohamed Salah – £30m ($41m)
6. Robert Lewandowski – £26m ($35m)
7. Andres Iniesta – £26m ($35m)
8. Paul Pogba – £25m ($34m)
9. Gareth Bale – £23.5m ($32m)
10. Eden Hazard – £21m ($29m