Lionel Messi Named Highest-Paid Player ahead of Ronaldo
Barcelona and Argentine forward Lionel Messi has topped the Forbes list for highest-earning footballers in 2020. Forbes estimated Lionel Messi’s yearly earnings at $126m (£97.2m) with Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo second on $117m (£90.3m). The Argentine beat the Portugues star to top the Forbes Highest paid players in the world.
Former Barcelona and Neymar who was given a straight red card following his misconduct in their last game against Marseille after punching Gonzales was rated as the third and fellow Paris St-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe fourth. Three Premier League players Mohamed Salah, Paul Pogba and David de Gea made the top 10, as did Real Madrid and Wales forward Gareth Bale.
Welshman Bale came eighth in the list at $29m (£22.4m) despite a disappointing 2019-20 season, on a personal level, which saw him fall out with Real boss Zinedine Zidane and only features in two of his club’s last 14 matches of the campaign. English Premier League side Manchester United had two of their players in the list, Pogba was in the sixth position while De Gea made it to the 10th place position while Liverpool forward Salah made it to the fifth place.
Lionel Messi’s Barcelona teammate Antoine Griezmann was seventh and Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was ninth. The top three were in the same order as in 2019, although Mbappe rose three places from seventh to fourth. 33-year-old Lionel Messi tried to leave Barcelona this summer and submitted a transfer request in August, but decided to stay because no club would be able to afford his release clause.
Forbes list of highest earning footballers
- Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina) $126m (£97.2m)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal) $117m (£90.3m)
- Neymar (Paris St-Germain and Brazil) $96m (£74.1m)
- Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain and France) $42m (£32.4m)
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt) $37m (£28.5m)
- Paul Pogba (Manchester United and France) $34m (£26.2m)
- Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona and France) $33m (£25.5m)
- Gareth Bale (Real Madrid and Wales) $29m (£22.4m)
- Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich and Poland) $28m (£21.6m)
- David de Gea (Manchester United and Spain) £27m (£20.8m)