Ronaldo overtakes Messi as Forbes' best-paid footballer

Wednesday September 22 2021

Manchester United's Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo (C) celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 11, 2021. Oli SCARFF / AFP


London.  Cristiano Ronaldo has overtaken Lionel Messi at the top of Forbes' list of the highest-paid footballers in the world, with the Manchester United star potentially earning Sh286.1 billion this season, reports UK’s Daily Mail.

Ronaldo and Messi, two of the highest-profile players in the world today, both made transfer moves this summer to United and Paris Saint-Germain respectively during a busy window.

Messi's move to French giants PSG could see him earn Sh251.7 billion this season but his earnings are very much short of Portuguese star Ronaldo, 36, who made his return to Manchester after 12 years playing away from Old Trafford.

Ronaldo's Red Devils deal could see him collect Sh160.2 billion basic salary and performance-related bonuses, with the rest of his package coming from endorsements, including sponsorship.

Argentina star Messi, meanwhile, has a higher basic salary and bonus structure than Ronaldo - earning Sh171.7 billion per year - but he only collects Sh80 billion in annual sponsorship payments, compared to Ronaldo's yearly sum of Sh125 billion. 

Had Messi stayed at former club Barcelona this summer, with the Spanish giants letting him leave on a free transfer as they could not afford to keep him, he would have easily been named as Forbes' highest-paid footballer as his total earnings in Spain sat at Sh297.8billion per year.