Forbes’ Highest-Paid Male Footballers (2020): Cristiano Ronaldo Beats Messi To Top List

Forbes’ Highest-Paid Male Footballers (2020): Cristiano Ronaldo Beats Messi To Top List

Forbes‘ annual list of the world's top-paid athletes has placed Cristiano Ronaldo as the highest-earning male footballer in the world for this year.

But despite Ronaldo agreeing to a temporary salary cut in order to help his side Juventus through this sticky spell – he remains top dog when it comes to yearly earnings.

Tennis legend and 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer is No1 on the overall list for athletes – with a number of NBA stars including Steph Curry and LeBron James also taking their places high up in the standings alongside the Portuguese.

But let’s take a look at the other footballers who made the cut alongside fellow sporting royalty.

Forbes Highest Paid Male Footballers2

Forbes' top ten earners in the beautiful game.

1. CRISTIANO RONALDO – £85.8million

Salary/winnings: £48.1m

Endorsements: £37.7m

Even at 35-years-old the Portuguese remains a juggernaut on and off the pitch.

2. LIONEL MESSI – £83.4m

Salary/winnings: £57.8m

Endorsements: £25.6m

Like his old sparring partner Ronaldo, the Argentine remains in remarkable nick as he gets further into his thirties.

3. NEYMAR – £76.6m

Salary/winnings: £56.6m

Endorsements: £20m

The PSG superstar remains the most expensive player of all time in a record likely to last a very long time – particularly given Covid-19.

4. MOHAMED SALAH – £28.2m

Salary/winnings: £18.5m

Endorsements: £9.7m

Nobody comes even remotely close to the undisputed top three on this list – but Egyptian superstar Mohamed Salah is the best of the rest.

5. KYLIAN MBAPPE – £27.1m

Salary/winnings: £16.7m

Endorsements: £10.4m

The youngest player on this list at just 21, the French whizkid appears to have the world at his feet.

6. ANDRES INIESTA – £23.7m

Salary/winnings: £21.3m

Endorsements: £2.4m

At 36, Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta is happily playing out the remainder of his career in Japan… and being paid handsomely for it too.

7. MESUT OZIL – £23m

Salary/winnings: £18.6m

Endorsements: £4.4m

With star player Mesut Ozil's contract running into its final few months, and Alexis Sanchez having just departed the club – Arsenal handed the German a lucrative pay rise back in February 2018.

8. PAUL POGBA – £22.8m

Salary/winnings: £18.5m

Endorsements: £4.3m

Paul Pogba remains a marketing powerhouse, however, and is one of Adidas' most valuable assets.

9. OSCAR – £22m

Salary/winnings: £20.7m

Endorsements: £1.3m

Having featured on fewer TV screens around the world since the move, however, the former Chelsea star’s earnings from endorsements are comfortably the fewest of this top ten.

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Salary/winnings: £17m

Endorsements: £4.4m

Another World Cup winner and Puma's top footballer though, Griezmann remains a huge commercial asset.

This article was most recently revised and updated 4 years ago