Manchester United’s forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, has overtaken Lionel Messi as the world highest earning footballer, according to Forbes.
The ranking is another phase to the rivalry between the Argentine and the Portuguese.
Both players are rated as the ‘best’ in the history of the game with a rivalry that began back in 2007. They both have won the highest number of Europe elite awards- the Ballon d’or, but Messi has six while Ronaldo has five.
Ronaldo will earn $125m pay before tax in the 2021-2022 season as $70m will come from his salary and bonus with his new club Manchester United.
The 36-year-old’s personal endorsements and partnerships with brands including Nike, Herbalife, Clear and his ever-expanding CR7-branded portfolio that includes perfume, underwear, eyewear, hotels, gyms and more will make up the $55m.
Messi who recently announced his move to Paris Saint-Germain after a long drama with FC Barcelona is now second on the list.
Moving to PSG, the 34-year-old will earn $110m which is $15m short of Ronaldo’s earnings.
PSG will pay the superstar $75m this season with $35m expected to be paid to him in endorsements from companies like Adidas, Pepsi, watchmaker Jacobs & Co. and Budweiser.
Both Messi and Ronaldo will earn $235m this season, while the top ten earning players will receive $585m in the 2021-2022 season, this is an increase from last year’s $570m.
Neymar Jr 29, is the number three on the list with $95m, while Kylian Mbappe occupies the fourth position with $43m.
This makes PSG the club with the highest earners in the top four spots on the list.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is number 5 with $41m, while Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich is number 6 on the list with $35m.
Former Barcelona midfield legend, Andres Iniesta, is the only player from a non-European team, to secure number 7 with $35. He now plays for Vissel Kobbe.
Manchester United’s Paul Pogba is the eight on the list with $34m, as $27m will come from salary and $7m from endorsements.
Gareth Bale who plays for Real Madrid is number 9 with $32m from which $26m is expected to come from salary, while $6m from endorsements.
Eden Hazard occupies the tenth place as he is expected to earn $29m from Madrid. His endorsement will fetch him $3m, while his salary is estimated at $26m.