Ronaldo Topples Messi as Forbes Highest-Earning Footballer

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s big-money move to Manchester United saw him replace Lionel Messi as the world’s highest-paid footballer, according to the latest rankings released by Forbes.

The Portuguese star is set to earn $125 million before taxes in the 2021-22 season, with $70 million coming from salary and bonus after his return to United.

The 36-year-old will earn an estimated $55m (£40.31m) from commercial deals.
Only three other active athletes make more commercially: Roger Federer ($90 million), LeBron James ($65 million) and Tiger Woods ($60 million).

Ronaldo’s long-time rival Lionel Messi will earn $110m (£80.63m) this season, with $75m (£50m) of that figure coming from his salary and bonuses at the Parc des Princes, according to Forbes. The former Barcelona star will spruce his PSG pay check with an estimated $35 million in endorsements.

PSG now claims three of the world’s five highest-paid players, including the 29-year-old Neymar, who is at No. 3 again with $95 million, and the 22-year-old Kylian Mbappe, who is No. 4 with $43 million.

In sum, the 10 highest-paid footballers will collect pre-tax earnings of around $585m (£428m) this season, up from last year’s total of around $570m (£471m).