Ronaldo overtakes Messi as highest earner in football (See top 10)

Manchester United forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, has overtaken Paris Saint-Germain rival, Lionel Messi as the highest earner in world football, according to Forbes.

Ronaldo’s transfer to Man United has made him the highest-paid footballer in the world, as he 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 the CR7 brand, which includes perfumes, clothing ranges, hotels and gyms this season.

Only three athletes, Tennis legend Roger Federer (approximately €77 million), basketball star LeBron James (€55.5 million) and golfer Tiger Woods (€51 million) have more commercial earnings than Ronaldo.

While 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 as he is sponsored by brands including Adidas, Pepsi and Budweiser.

Below is Forbes’ top ten highest earners in football in 2021-22;

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo – £91.5m ($125m)


  1. Lionel Messi – £80.5m ($110m)
  2. Neymar – £69.5m ($95m)


  1. Kylian Mbappe – £31.5m ($43m)


  1. Mohamed Salah – £30m ($41m)


  1. Robert Lewandowski – £26m ($35m)


  1. Andres Iniesta – £26m ($35m)


  1. Paul Pogba – £25m ($34m)


  1. Gareth Bale – £23.5m ($32m)


  1. Eden Hazard – £21m ($29m)

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