According to Forbes’ current rankings, Cristiano Ronaldo has surpassed Lionel Messi as the highest-paid footballer in the world as a result of his spectacular comeback to Manchester United. In the 2021-22 season, Ronaldo is expected to earn $125 million before taxes, with $70 million coming from salary and bonuses for his return to United. Commercial deals are expected to bring in $55 million for the 36-year-old. Only Roger Federer ($90 million), LeBron James ($65 million), and Tiger Woods ($60 million) earn more money as active athletes.
Ronaldo returned to Manchester United after a shock move from Juventus, where he had spent six years from 2003 to 2009. This year, the Portugal star also broke the Guinness record for most international goals, surpassing Iranian Ali Daei’s 109 goals.
According to Forbes, Lionel Messi, Ronaldo’s Argentine adversary, will make $110 million this season, with $75 million coming from his salary and bonuses at the Parc des Princes. In sponsorships, the former Barcelona star is expected to earn $35 million.
After Barcelona, where he had spent the previous two decades, was unable to extend his contract owing to budgetary constraints, Messi joined PSG as a free agent this summer.
PSG now has three of the top five highest-paid players in the world, including Neymar, who is back at No. 3 with $95 million, and Kylian Mbappe, who is at No. 4 with $43 million.
The ten highest-paid footballers are expected to make roughly $585 million in pre-tax earnings this season, up from around $570 million last year.