Cristiano Ronaldo: the world's highest-paid soccer player
The Manchester United forward is the highest paid player on the planet, according to Forbes. The Portuguese has overtaken PSG player Lionel Messi in earnings.
Cristiano Ronaldo's sensational return to Manchester United resulted in the veteran forward's shirt becoming the best-selling shirt in history, as reported by sports merchandise site Fanatics. The transfer has also made him the highest paid footballer in the world, according to Forbes.
During the new 2021/22 campaign, Ronaldo 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.
LeBron among top earners
Only three athletes have more commercial earnings. Tennis legend Roger Federer (approximately €77 million), basketball star LeBron James (€55.5 million) and golfer Tiger Woods (€51 million) all earn more than Ronaldo in endorsement earnings.
Ronaldo's latest earnings have seen him overtake Lionel Messi. The Argentinian, following his move to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona, will earn around €94 million gross, with a salary of €64 million, but with lower commercial earnings. Messi is sponsored by brands including Adidas, Pepsi and Budweiser.
Mbappé makes list
The next two highest paid footballers are also PSG forwards. Neymar earns €81 million, despite having the same salary as his team-mate Messi. In fourth place is French forward Kylian Mbappé. Mbappé earns approximately €37 million. His salary with the Ligue 1 side is €24 million.
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah completes the top five, with earnings of €35 million. Spanish midfielder Andrés Iniesta is also in the top 10 and is the only player from a non-European team to make the list. Iniesta earns almost €30 million at Japanese outfit Vissel Kobe, the same as Robert Lewandowski earns with Bayern Munich.
Real Madrid duo top earners
Paul Pogba, who like his compatriot Kylian Mbappé is in the final year of his contract at Manchester United, earns €29 million gross per year. The list is completed by two Real Madrid players: Gareth Bale on €27.3 million and Eden Hazard on €24.7 million, who earns the same salary as the Welsh forward, but whose commercial income is half that of Bale's.