Cristiano Ronaldo's Return to Manchester United Makes Him World's Highest-Paid Footballer

© REUTERS / JOHN SIBLEY2021 Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo before the match
2021 Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo before the match - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.09.2021
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's respective moves to Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) capped a stunning summer transfer window. While Messi's departure from boyhood club Barcelona came as a complete shock, CR7's return to Old Trafford was equally unexpected, especially as he was set to sign for rivals Man City.
Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival at Old Trafford has made him the highest-earning footballer in the world. The Man United forward now eclipses ex-Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi in Forbes' annual list.
CR7 will reportedly take home $125 million (before taxes) this season, with his salary and bonus amounting to a staggering $70 million.
Ronaldo earned a hefty $1.25 million per week at Serie A club Juventus – during his time in Italy he held second place on the list of the planet's best-paid footballers.
Today, Messi is now second – his bank account will bulge to the tune of $110 million this season, while the 34-year-old's good friend Brazilian playmaker Neymar, and French World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe, are ranked third and fourth respectively.
One of the main reasons Messi lost out on the top spot is his failure to agree a salary raise in his two-year contract with PSG, which is worth $83 million.
Earlier, Messi had a four-year deal at the Nou Camp, which saw him earn over $650 million, making him the highest-paid footballer in the world. He was paid a staggering $2.9 million every week from 2016-2021 with the Spanish club.

Top 10 Highest Earning Footballers (Forbes)

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd) - $125m
2. Lionel Messi (PSG) - $110m
3. Neymar (PSG) - $95m
4. Kylian Mbappe (PSG) - $43m
5. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) - $41m
6. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - $35m
7. Andres Iniesta (Vissel Kobe) - $35m
8. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) - $34m
9. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) - $32m
10. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) - $29m
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