With more than a combined half-billion followers across Facebook (149 million), Instagram (344 million) and Twitter (94.3 million)— in addition to his recent move to Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo has usurped Lionel Messi as the world’s richest footballer.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
According to this year’s ranking released by Forbes, the 36-year-old is set to earn $125 million before taxes in the 2021-22 season, with $70 million coming from salary and bonus for his return to United.
2. Lionel Messi
Even though he is yet to score a goal for PSG since his shock exit from Barcelona, Messi will be paid $75 million this season, helping put him at No. 2 on the list with $110 million.
Neymar will be taking home about $95m this year, with PSG also paying the Brazilian to be of good moral behaviour.
4. Kylian Mbappe
At fourth is French man, Kylian Mbappe who also completes PSG’s contribution to this list. He will be earning no fewer than $43m.
5. Mohammed Salah
Egyptian forward, Mohammed Salah whom many have suggested should be given a new bumper deal by Liverpool due to his on-field exploits, will generate about $41m in 2021.
6. Robert Lewandowski
Polish goal machine, Robert Lewandowski is the sixth highest paid footballer. The Bayern Munich forward will garner $35m this year.
7. Andres Iniesta
Former Barcelona talisman, Andres Iniesta who was part of the all time Barcelona conquering sides of yore, is the seventh player on this list. The 37-year-old who now plays for Vissel Kobe in Japan will be $35m richer by end of this year.
8. Paul Pogba
28-year-old Paul Pogba is the 8 richest footballer this year, with earnings reaching $34m in 2021.
9. Gareth Bale
Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale will be raking in $32m this year, as the former Tottenham left back hopes to reignite his career under new boss, Carlo Ancelloti.
10. Eden Hazard
Bale’s teammate, Eden Hazard completes the list. The Belgian captain’s take home this year will be $29m
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