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24 September 2021
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List of highest-earning players of 2021 released
Forbes has released the list of highest-earning players of the 2021/22 season, with Cristiano Ronaldo surpassing long time rival Lionel Messi as the world’s highest-paid football player.

Ronaldo will earn $125 million before taxes in the campaign, with $70 million coming from salary and bonus. The earnings were boosted by his recent transfer to Manchester United from Juventus.

Messi follows in second with a total of $110m while Paris Saint-Germain team-mates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah rounds out the top five.

In total, the top ten highest-paid players will collect pretax earnings of $585 million this season, up from last year’s $570 million.

Forbes’ top 10 highest earners in football

Player Club Total Earnings (2021/22)
Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United $125m

Lionel Messi Paris Saint-Germain $110m

Neymar Jr Paris Saint-Germain $95m

Kylian Mbappe Paris Saint-Germain $43m

Mohamed Salah Liverpool $41m

Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich $35m

Andres Iniesta Vissel Kobe $35m

Paul Pogba Manchester United $34m

Gareth Bale Real Madrid $32m

Eden Hazard Real Madrid $29m

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