List of highest-earning players of 2021 released

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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

PlayerClubTotal Earnings (2021/22)
Cristiano RonaldoManchester United $125m
Lionel MessiParis Saint-Germain$110m
Neymar Jr Paris Saint-Germain$95m
Kylian MbappeParis Saint-Germain$43m
Mohamed SalahLiverpool$41m
Robert LewandowskiBayern Munich$35m
Andres Iniesta Vissel Kobe$35m
Paul Pogba Manchester United$34m
Gareth BaleReal Madrid$32m
Eden HazardReal Madrid$29m