Cristiano Ronaldo continues to win – or win, at the very least.
Forbes announced that the Manchester United star has overtaken Lionel Messi as highest paid footballer in the world with a profit of around $125 million. Ronaldo, who is the first team sports athlete to earn more than $1 billion in pre-tax career earnings, earns $70 million in salaries and $55 million through sponsorship deals.
Backed by his own brand of perfumes, underwear, eyewear, hotels and gyms, Ronaldo only follows Conor McGregor ($158 million), Roger Federer ($90 million), LeBron James ( $65 million) and Tiger Woods ($60 million) off the court. earnings, according to Forbes.
Despite a new three-year contract with Budweiser, Messi drops to second place with $110m after his summer move to Paris Saint-Germain, where he earns less in on-field earnings than the $97m he earned last season at Barcelona. Yet his $75 million in on-field earnings puts him close to PSG teammate Neymar as football’s top on-pitch earner, comparable to Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who had the most on-court earnings of any athlete in the world last year at $97.5 million.
Neymar, who comes third on the list with $95m, also earns more than Ronaldo on the pitch, but pales in comparison to Ronaldo’s endorsements. The Brazilian star left Nike for Puma following accusations of sexually assaulting a Nike employee, but saw his mentions increase when he signed out of TikTok to sign an exclusive deal to create video content for Triller.
PSG currently hold three of the four highest paid players in the world, with Kylian Mbappé earning $43m a year. However, the 22-year-old FIFA cover star has refused to sign a new contract at PSG which would have seen his $28m earnings nearly triple, with rumors of a future move to Real Madrid still swirling .
Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah completes the top five with $41 million. But perhaps the most surprising name on the list comes seventh in former Barcelona star Andrés Iniesta. The 37-year-old signed a two-year contract extension with Japanese club Vissel Kobe in the spring which saw his on-court earnings soar to $31 million.
More football coverage: