Cristiano Ronaldo overtakes Lionel Messi and takes the number one spot as the highest-paid footballer in 2021 according to Forbes.
Ronaldo knock Lionel Messi from the number one spot after the 34-year-old left Barcelona to join Paris Saint-Germain.
“To compile this list, we spoke with clubs, players’ agents, commercial sponsors, and worldwide soccer experts. All figures are converted to U.S. dollars using the current exchange rate and include salaries (pretax) for the 2021-22 season, bonuses, and endorsements. Transfer fees are excluded.” Forbes said.
Cristiano earns $125 million before taxes in the 2021-22 season, with $70 million coming from salary and bonus for his return to Manchester United, the rest comes 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. Only three other active athletes make more commercially: Roger Federer ($90 million), LeBron James ($65 million) and Tiger Woods ($60 million).
Lionel Messi earns $110 million, with $75 million paid by his club this season, putting him at No. 2 on the list, with an estimated $35 million in endorsements from the likes of Adidas, Pepsi, watchmaker Jacobs & Co. and Budweiser, which he just picked up last year under a three-year deal.
Forbes top 10 highest earners in football 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)