Lionel Messi is the highest-paid footballer in the world according to Forbes magazine which calculated that the Argentine football icon will earn a total of $126 million before the end of 2020.
The 35-year-old Juventus and Portuguese forward who became the first footballer to earn a total of one billion dollars so far in his football career, topped the list of the highest-paid footballers prior to the release of the recent ranking.
According to Forbes, Ronaldo will earn a total of $117 million before the end of this year, $9 million less than what Messi will earn in the same period of time. Just like other football stars that made Forbes’ top earners’ list, Messi and Ronaldo earned their money from their per-season wages and from endorsement deals.
For instance, before the end of 2020, Lionel Messi is expected to have earned a total of $126 million. This includes the amount he gets as a Barcelona player and from sponsorship deals. He earns a total of $92 million as an annual salary from Barcelona and a total of $34 million from endorsement deals with Adidas, Pepsi, Budweiser, and many others.
While his career rival, Ronaldo earns a total of $70 million as an annual salary from Juventus. The 35-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward will earn a total of $47 million from endorsement deals with Nike, Tag Heuer, Herbalife, and many others before the end of the year.
Brazilian 28-year-old forward, Neymar is the third player on the list of the highest-paid footballers in the world in the outgoing year. The Paris Saint-German talisman will make a total of $96 million from his annual salary and endorsement deals before the year runs out.
Below is the list of top 10 highest-earning footballers in the world:
- Lionel Messi – Barcelona – Total: $126 million.
- Cristiano Ronaldo – Juventus Total: $117 million.
- Neymar – PSG – Total: $96 million.
- Kylian Mbappe – PSG – Total: $42 million.
- Mohamed Salah – Liverpool – Total: $37 million.
- Paul Pogba – Manchester United – Total: $34 million.
- Antoine Griezmann – Barcelona – Total: $33 million.
- Gareth Bale – Real Madrid – Total: $29 million.
- Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich – Total: $28 million.
- David de Gea – Manchester United – Total: $27 million.
Besides being the highest-paid footballer in the world, Lionel Messi is the second billionaire in Football
With the total earning of $126 million, Lionel Messi has become the second footballer in the world to earn over 1 billion dollars throughout his football career.
The calculation started from the early 2000s when he signed his first professional football contract with Barcelona until date. It is the accumulation of all the wages he has been earning as a footballer and the amount he has been earning from endorsement deals.
Recall that Forbes announced earlier in the year that Messi’s rival, Cristiano Ronaldo was the first active footballer to earn one billion dollars in his football career, meaning that the world now has two football billionaires that are still playing the game.