The legendary duo(Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi) remain the best-paid players in football, with PSG stars taking up three of the top four spots
Cristiano Ronaldo’s big-money switch to Manchester United has enabled him to leapfrog Lionel Messi to become Forbes’ highest-earning footballer this year.
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 for his return to Old Trafford.
Messi, meanwhile, sits just behind him at $110m (£80.5m) with his new Paris Saint-Germain Teammates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe filling out the top four.
Forbes’ top 10 highest earners in football
Player Club 2021-22 Total earnings
Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United $125m/
Lionel Messi Paris Saint-Germain $110m/
Neymar Paris Saint-Germain $95m/
Kylian Mbappe Paris Saint-Germain $43m/
Mohamed Salah Liverpool $41m/
Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich $35m/
Andres Iniesta Vissel Kobe $35m/
Paul Pogba Manchester United $34m/
Gareth Bale Real Madrid $32m/
Eden Hazard Real Madrid $29m/
How does Ronaldo compare to other athletes?
With $55m (£40m) of his earnings coming from commercial deals, Ronaldo is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world when it comes to sponsorship earnings.
Only three other active athletes make more commercially than the Manchester United star: Roger Federer ($90m/£66m), LeBron James ($65m/£48m,) and Tiger Woods ($60m/44m)
In total, the 10 highest-paid footballers are set to collect pretax earnings of around $585m (£428m) this season, up from last year’s total of around $570m (£471m).