Top 10 highest paid footballers in the world

Lionel Messi once again tops the standings ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo

6:00am on Sunday 4th October 2020
Martin Macdonald

Lionel Messi has once again been named the highest paid football player in the world ahead of perennial rival Cristiano Ronaldo by Forbes.

Barcelona may have had a dismal season on the pitch in which they failed to win silverware for the first time in 12 years, but Messi was still comfortably their best player and earned a reported £98m over the past 12 months.

A few weeks ago, the Argentine shocked the Blaugrana when he asked for the termination of his contract, allowing him to speak to other clubs.

Barca refused, and Messi subsequently changed his mind to stay on his current contract which will expire next summer.


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Ronaldo, who won Serie A but was knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage with Juventus, earned £91m.

The earnings within the list calculated by Forbes are salaries plus endorsements.

Paris Saint-German duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, who are the two most expensive players in the history of the sport, make it into second and third.

Both enjoyed a good season in Paris as they helped the club to their first ever Champions League final, where they would eventually lose to Bayern.

The Premier League is represented by Mohamed Salah, Paul Pogba, and David De Gea in the top 10, while Pogba's French compatriot Antoine Griezmann also makes the list.

Robert Lewandowski, who won the treble with Bayern, is 10th.

Gareth Bale, who has barely played for Real Madrid this season, still earned £22.6m.

The World's Highest Paid Footballers

Salary + Endorsements last 12 months

RankPlayerTeamSalary (£)
1Lionel MessiBarcelona£98m
2Cristiano RonaldoJuventus£91m
4Kylian MbappePSG£32.6m
5Mohamed SalahLiverpool£28.8m
6Paul PogbaMan Utd£26.5m
7Antoine GriezmannBarcelona£25.7m
8Gareth BaleReal Madrid£22.6m
9Robert LewandowskiBayern£21.8m
10David De GeaMan Utd£21m

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