Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up
View All Scores

Forbes reveals soccer’s top-paid footballers as Messi, Ronaldo swap 1-2

Joe Prince-Wright, Andy Edwards and Nicholas Mendola contrast Lionel Messi's bumpy start with Paris Saint-Germain with Cristiano Ronaldo's easy transition to Manchester United.

Cristiano Ronaldo is back on top of Lionel Messi in terms of yearly income, as his personal portfolio is up and Messi’s down following Barcelona’s cost-cutting at the Camp Nou.

Ronaldo is bringing in $125 million this year, $70 million from his Manchester United contract and $55 million more from endorsements and his many businesses.

[ MORE: League Cup draw ]

The 36-year-old moves in front of Messi, 34, who makes $5 million more in salary but $20 million less in the other areas after he slashed his salary by moving from Barca to PSG.

Neymar is third on the list, getting essentially the same PSG pay packet as Messi and only $20 million from endorsements, with Kylian Mbappe posting $28 million in salary and $15 million elsewhere to give Paris Saint-Germain three of the best-paid players in the world.

The bottom five brings two surprise names. There’s seventh-place Andres Iniesta, who is being well-compensated by Japanese club Vissel Kobe, and ninth-place Gareth Bale, whose contract continues to haunt Real Madrid’s books.

Top paid soccer players in the world (salary plus endorsements, etc.)

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United
  2. Lionel Messi, PSG
  3. Neymar, PSG
  4. Kylian Mbappe, PSG
  5. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool
  6. Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich
  7. Andres Iniesta, Vissel Kobe
  8. Paul Pogba, Manchester United
  9. Gareth Bale, Real Madrid
  10. Eden Hazard, Real Madrid

Follow @NicholasMendola