Lionel Messi has retained his place on top of the Forbes list of the highest-paid footballers in the world, edging past his rival Cristiano Ronaldo. The Argentine’s total earnings this year adds up to USD 126 million, including USD 92 million in salary and the rest in endorsements.
Messi is also only the second player in history (after Ronaldo) to reach USD 1 billion in pre-tax earnings, reports said.
The Juventus forward, meanwhile, came a close second in Forbes’ list with USD 117 million in earnings and endorsements over the past year.
Messi had decided earlier this month to stay on in Barcelona after expressing his desire to leave the club, where he has spent his whole career in, after a trophyless season. The 33-year-old’s contract with Barca will expire next year.
Third and fourth on Forbes’ list are Paris Saint-Germain players Neymar and Kylian Mbappe with USD 96 million and USD 42 million respectively.
The rest of the top 10 position are taken by Mohamed Salah, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Gareth Bale, Robert Lewandowski and David De Gea.
Check out the list of Forbes’ top 10 highest-paid footballers and their earnings:
1 Lionel Messi – USD 126m
2 Cristiano Ronaldo – USD 117m
3 Neymar – USD 96m
4 Kylian Mbappe – USD 42m
5 Mohamed Salah – USD 37m
6 Paul Pogba – USD 34m
7 Antoine Griezmann – USD 33m
8 Gareth Bale – USD 29m
9 Robert Lewandowski – USD 28m
10 David De Gea – USD 27m