Creative Soccer Culture

Forbes Release 2021 Highest Paid Players List

Forbes has unveiled the list of the world’s highest paid football players for the year, and there’s no real surprises in terms of who appears on the list, although Ronaldo and Messi have switched positions at the top of the table from last year.

While Messi and Ronaldo continue to compete indirectly on the pitch following their big money moves to PSG and Manchester United respectively, they also continue their battle off the pitch in the twilight of their careers. Following news that Ronaldo shirts had outsold Messi shirts following their transfers, CR7 now has another result with news that he has found himself in the number 1 spot, above his Argentinian rival, the pair switching positions with regularity over the years, much as they have done with the Balon d'Or.

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Ronaldo 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. The rest is made up of his extensive commercial enterprises.

Messi in the number two spot boasts a total of $110 million, $75 million of which comes from his wages at PSG. The Parisian side now has three of the world’s five highest-paid players on their books, including the 29-year-old Neymar, who lands at No. 3 once again with $95 million, and the 22-year-old Kylian Mbappe, who is No. 4 with $43 million.

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Mo Salah, who is currently negotiating a new contract with Liverpool, is in at No. 5 on $41 million. Andres Iniesta, now 37, is the only player from a non-European team to make the list, sitting at No. 7 with $35 million after the former Barcelona star signed a two-year contract extension with Vissel Kobe in Japan.

In total, the ten highest-paid soccer players are expected to collect pre-tax earnings of $585 million this season, up from last year’s $570 million.

Full list:

1. Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United – $125m

2. Lionel Messi – PSG – $110m

3. Neymar – PSG – $95m

4. Kylian Mbappé – PSG – $43m

5. Mohamed Salah – Liverpool – $41m

6. Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich – $35m

7. Andres Iniesta – Vissel Kobe – $35m

8. Paul Pogba – Manchester United – $34m

9. Gareth Bale – Real Madrid – $32m

10. Eden Hazard – Real Madrid – $29m


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Daniel Jones

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