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Ronaldo tops Forbes' list of world best-paid footballers


Forbes has released their list of the best-paid players in world football with Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo at number one.

The respected money magazine came up with the list after speaking to clubs, players' agents, commercial sponsors and worldwide football experts.

1. Ronaldo

Ronaldo overtook Lionel Messi at the latest Forbes' list with the Portuguese star potentially earning $125m this season.

According to Forbes, Ronaldo could earn $70m in basic salary and performance-related bonuses. The rest of his package could be up to $55m coming from endorsements, including sponsorship.

2. Messi

It could be up to $110m for Messi, although the Paris Saint-Germain star's $35m in annual sponsorship payments did not match Ronaldo's.

Messi dropped to number two because he is not getting the package he had at Barcelona. The Spanish club let the Argentine leave for free because they could not afford him anymore.

Both Messi and Ronaldo will earn less this season than during the previous year.

3. Neymar

Messi's PSG teammates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe come in third and fourth positions on the list, respectively.

Neymar earned $95m from his annual contract at PSG plus his $20m in endorsements and sponsorship.

The forward's major endorsement comes from Puma, the brand he joined after an early exit from his contract with Nike.

4. Mbappe

Mbappe is far off in fourth with $43m in total- $28m in salary and $15m in endorsements.

He was the solo cover of EA Sports' FIFA 21, making him the youngest to do so. This year he will back as the face of FIFA 22.

5. Salah

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah is the second best-paid Premier League player behind Ronaldo, with $41m in-a-year earnings.

As the face of Muslim athletes in a year, Salah gets a slew of endorsements from where he could earn $16m in addition to his $25m annual Liverpool pay.

6. Lewandowski

Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski is sixth on the list with potential earnings of $35m.

He recently launched his RL9 brand of clothing to add to his slew of off-field earnings that totals $18m.

7. Iniesta

Despite playing in Japan, 37-year-old Andres Iniesta is the seventh-highest paid player in the world with a basic salary of $35m and $4m in endorsements in a year.

8. Pogba

The third Premier League star on the list is Paul Pogba who is expected to earn $34m a year.

With Adidas his major sponsor, the midfielder could net $7m from endorsement deals.

9. Bale

Real Madrid star Gareth Bale is the best-paid British player at $32m. He could net $6m from endorsement deals.

10. Hazard

Bale's Real Madrid teammate Eden Hazard completes the top 10 with $29m total earning.

He's the face of McDonald's in Belgium in addition to deals with Nike and Nissan.

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