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Cristiano Ronaldo overtakes Lionel Messi as Forbes’ 2021 highest-earning footballer

Cristiano Ronaldo overtakes Lionel Messi as Forbes
Cristiano Ronaldo overtakes Lionel Messi as Forbes

Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Manchester United has helped him overtake Lionel Messi to become Forbes’ highest-earning footballer for 2021.


Ronaldo is will earn $125 million (£91.5m) before taxes during the 2021-22 season, with $70m (£51.25m) of that from his salary and bonuses for his return to Manchester United.

With $55m (£40m) of his earnings coming from commercial deals, Ronaldo is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world when it comes to sponsorship earnings.

Messi, meanwhile will earn $110m (£80.5m) this season while his new Paris Saint-Germain team-mates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe come third and fourth in the Forbes list respectively.

Only three other active athletes make more money commercially than Ronaldo: Roger Federer ($90m/£66m), LeBron James ($65m/£48m) and Tiger Woods ($60m/44m).

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