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Ronaldo topples Messi as Forbes highest-earning footballer

September 22, 2021 19:07 IST
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Cristiano Ronaldo acknowledges the applause from fans as he warms up prior to Manchester United's Premier League match against Newcastle United, at Old Trafford in Manchester, on September 11, 2021.

IMAGE: Cristiano Ronaldo acknowledges the applause from fans as he warms up prior to Manchester United's Premier League match against Newcastle United, at Old Trafford in Manchester, on September 11, 2021. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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). 

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