Ronaldo leapfrogs Messi in Forbes list of top-earning players

Ronaldo leapfrogs Messi in Forbes list of top-earning players

Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo has reclaimed top spot in the list of the world’s highest-paid soccer players from Lionel Messi, according to Forbes.

Ronaldo, 36, rejoined United from Juventus in August after 12 years away, while Messi has swapped boyhood club Barcelona to join Paris St Germain.

Forbes said Ronaldo, among the world’s most popular athletes with over 500 million followers across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, is set to make Sh13.8 billion before taxes in the 2021-22 season, with Sh7.7 billion coming from salary and bonuses at United.

The rest will come from endorsements and partnerships with brands including Nike, Herbalife, Clear and his CR7 brand.

Messi, who topped last year’s list, will be paid a salary of Sh8.3 billion with an additional Sh3.9 billion from endorsements for total expected earnings of Sh12.2 billion.

The Argentine’s strike partner at PSG Neymar, who in May signed a new contract until 2025, is third on the list with total earnings of Sh10.5 billion.

Another PSG player, Kylian Mbappe (Sh4.7 billion), is fourth on the Forbes list while Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah (Sh4.5 billion) is fifth.

Top 10 highest earners in football:

Cristiano Ronaldo – Sh13.8 billion

Lionel Messi – Sh12.2 billion

Neymar – Sh10.5 billion

Kylian Mbappe – Sh4.7 billion

Mohamed Salah – Sh4.5 billion

Robert Lewandowski – Sh3.9 billion

Andres Iniesta – Sh3.9 billion

Paul Pogba – Sh3.8 billion

Gareth Bale – Sh3.5 billion

Eden Hazard – Sh3.2 billion