The world’s 10 highest-paid football players in 2021, ranked: from Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi to Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba

Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi made the list for the world’s top 10 highest paid footballers. Photos: EPA-EFE, Reuters, AP

Forbes has released its latest list of the world’s highest-earning football players for this season.

Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who is the world’s first and only billionaire football player, tops the list, raking in US$125 million from his salary and endorsement deals.

8 billionaires whose kids won’t inherit their fortunes

The 36-year-old icon, who surpassed well-known players like Lionel Messi, Neymar and Andres Iniesta on the list, is also among the top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world.

Combined, the top 10 will earn US$585 million before tax.

Here’s the full list:

10. Eden Hazard – Real Madrid and Belgium (US$29 million)

Belgium’s Eden Hazard is among the world’s highest-paid football players, earning US$29 million this season from his salary and endorsement deals. Photo: Reuters

Age: 30

Salary: US$26 million

Endorsements: US$3 million

9. Gareth Bale – Real Madrid and Wales (US$32 million)

Welsh football player Gareth Bale, who plays as a winger for La Liga club Real Madrid, earned US$32 million this year. Photo: Reuters

Age: 32

Salary: US$26 million

Endorsements: US$6 million

How did Naomi Osaka become the ‘highest-paid female athlete ever’?

8. Paul Pogba – Manchester United and France (US$34 million)

Manchester United’s midfielder Paul Pogba earned a total of US$34 million this year, landing him on Forbes’ highest-earning football player list. Photo: AFP

Age: 28

Salary: US$27 million

Endorsements: US$7 million

7. Andres Iniesta – Vissel Kobe and Spain (US$35 million)

Andres Iniesta, a top-earning soccer player, is the captain of J1 League club Vissel Kobe Photo: La Liga

Age: 37

Salary: US$31 million

Endorsements: US$4 million

Money, money, money: which Abba member made more millions?

6. Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich and Poland (US$35 million)

Robert Lewandowski celebrates after scoring the 0-2 lead during the Uefa Champions League match between FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Photo: EPA-EFE

Age: 33

Salary: US$27 million

Endorsements: US$8 million

5. Mohamed Salah – Liverpool and Egypt (US$41 million)

Liverpool player Mo Salah is among the top-earning football players this season, with a total income of US$25 million. Photo: Reuters

Age: 29

Salary: US$25 million

Endorsements: US$16 million

How does tennis star Rafael Nadal spend his US$200 million fortune?

4. Kylian Mbappe – Paris Saint-Germain and France (US$43 million)

Kylian Mbappe earned US$43 million from his salary and endorsement deals this season. Photo: EPA-EFE

Age: 22

Salary: US$28 million

Endorsements: US$15 million

3. Neymar – Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil (US$95 million)

Paris Saint-Germain player Neymar raked in US$75 million from his salary and endorsement deals. Photo: EPA-EFE

Age: 29

Salary: US$75 million

Endorsements: US$20 million

Only 14 floors? Inside Jai Anshul and Jai Anmol Ambani’s Mumbai home

2. Lionel Messi – Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina (US$110 million)

Lionel Messi is the second highest-paid football player. Photo: AP Photo

Age: 34

Salary: US$75 million

Endorsements: US$35 million

1. Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United and Portugal (US$125 million)

Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo tops Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-earning football players for this season. Photo: Reuters

Age: 36

Salary: US$70 million

Endorsements: US$55 million

This article originally appeared on Business Insider
Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.
  • The first and only billionaire football player, Ronaldo is also one of the highest-paid athletes in the world – but how much of his cash comes from endorsements?
  • Forbes’ latest rich list reveals that these sports celebrities, including Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard, will earn a combined US$585 million