By Rilwan Balogun
Lionel Messi has emerged Forbes’ highest-paid player in the world, beating Cristiano Ronaldo to the position.
French attacker, Kylian Mbappe also rose on the list with his new total earnings pegged at $42million.
Forbes revealed Mbappe’s salary to be $28million per year while his endorsements amount to $14million.
Messi, who was at the centre of rumours of a Barcelona exit earns $126million per year. He earns a $92million salary per annum while his endorsement has been pegged at $34million per year.
Messi’s decade-long rival Ronaldo earns $117million in the past one year with his salary amounting for $70million while his endorsements are at $47million.
Neymar’s $96million a year earnings places him on third with his $78million contributing a huge share to his total income.
His endorsements have been pegged at $18million by Forbes. Neymar recently ended his deal with Nike as he signed for Puma in a multimillion dollars deal.
Mohammed Salah’s total earnings of $37million, Paul Pogba’s $34million, Antoine Griezmann’s $33million, Gareth Bale’s $29million, Robert Lewandowski’s $28million, and David De Gea’s $27million complete the top ten earners in the world.
Forbes compiled the list using clubs, players’ agents, commercial sponsors and soccer experts in the U.S. and Europe.
All figures were converted to U.S. dollars and they include soccer salaries for the 2020-21 season, bonuses and endorsements with transfer fees excluded.
The earnings have been measured pretax.