Ronaldo returns to top of football's rich list ahead of Messi

Ronaldo returns to top of football's rich list ahead of Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to number one on the Forbes rich list as football’s highest earner ahead of rival Lionel Messi.

The Portuguese forward will earn a reported $125 million this year in total with $70m coming from his new club Manchester United and $55 million from commercial endorsements.

According to the report, Roger Federer, LeBron James and Tiger Woods are the only sportsman who earn more from commercial interests than the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

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Messi dropped down to second in the table with combined earnings of $110m with $75m coming from his PSG contract.

Messi’s team-mates Neymar ($95 million) and Kylian Mbappe ($43 million) are third and fourth respectively. Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah ($41 million) comes in at fifth.

Former Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta, who now plays for J-League side Vissel Kobe in Japan, is the only player from outside Europe who makes the list down in seventh place, level with sixth-placed Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) on $35 million.

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba ($34 million) and Real Madrid duo Gareth Bale ($32 million) and Eden Hazard ($29 million) round out the top ten.

Forbes report that the 10 highest-paid football players are expected to collect pre-tax earnings of $585 million this season, which is up from last year’s $570 million.

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