Cristiano Ronaldo replaces Lionel Messi as highest-paid footballer in Forbes rankings

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Cristiano Ronaldo has replaced Lionel Messi as the highest-paid footballer in the world, according to latest rankings released by Forbes.

Ronaldo is set to make $125m (£91.63m) before taxes in the 2021-22 season after moving back to Manchester United with $70m (£51.31m) coming from his salary and bonuses at Old Trafford, according to Forbes.

The 36-year-old is set to earn an estimated $55m (£40.31m) from commercial deals, with only three athletes set to earn more from sponsorship; Roger Federer ($90m, £65.97m), LeBron James ($65m, £47.64m) and Tiger Woods ($60m, £43.98m).

Messi, who topped last year’s rankings, falls to second despite sealing a lucrative move to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

Forbes claim the former Barcelona star will earn $110m (£80.63m) this season, with $75m (£50m) of that figure coming from his salary and bonuses at the Parc des Princes.

Meanwhile, Messi’s club teammates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are third and fourth on the list respectively.

Neymar is set to earn $95m (£69.68m) in the 2021-22 season, while Mbappe is some way behind the Brazilian with expected earnings of $43m (£31.54m).

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is fifth in the rankings with expected earnings of $41m (£30.6m), while Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski is sixth with $35m (£25.66m).

Perhaps a surprise inclusion on the list is former Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta, who is ranked seventh with earnings of $35m (£25.66m) – the bulk of which comes from his salary and bonuses at Japanese club Vissel Kobe.

Eighth on the list is Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, who is set to make $34m (£24.92m), while Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale is the highest-ranked British player in ninth with expected earnings of $32m (£23.46m).

Another Real Madrid player rounds off the top 10, former Chelsea winger Eden Hazard, who is set to earn $29m (£21.26m) in the 2021-22 campaign.

SourceSkySports

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