Domination in world football belongs to the legendary duo Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. This dominance isn't just limited to the game but also in their earnings. This year saw nothing different as the top spot in Forbes's highest-paid footballer of 2021 went to the newly-unveiled Manchester United player Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo's big return to Manchester United after 12 years of developing a decorated resume across Europe helped him reclaim the top earner's spot back from Lionel Messi. Ronaldo currently earns $125 million- $70 million in wages and a whopping $55 million from endorsement deals.
Despite a shocking move to Paris Saint-Germain and a three-year endorsement with Budweiser, Messi failed to grab onto the top spot. Messi's on-field earnings dropped from $97 million to $75 million after securing a move to PSG. However, he may not gloom over it because the $35 million he earns through endorsements takes his total income to a stupendous $110 million.
Paris Saint-Germain's extravagant spending habits were evident on the Forbes' list, with three of their players securing a place in the top five list. Messi's PSG teammate Neymar Jr. secured third place with a total income of $95 million.
His $75 million on-field earnings tie him with his Argentinian teammate but when it comes to endorsements, Neymar's earnings fall shy of $15 million. The fourth spot on the list is secured by yet another PSG player.
Kylian Mbappe, at just 22 years old, is earning $43 million a year, $28 million of which comes from on-field exploits and $15 million from endorsements. The PSG player just has one more year left in his contract after which a big-money move to Real Madrid is anticipated. If he does end up joining Real Madrid, we can see his earnings skyrocket by the time the next Forbes list drops.
Mohamed Salah, Liverpool's star in its Champion's league and Premier League-winning season, took the fifth berth on the list with a total earning of $41 million.