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

Forbes' Highest Paid Male Footballers
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’ 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.

10. ANTOINE GRIEZMANN – £21.4m

Salary/winnings: £17m
Endorsements: £4.4m
Another World Cup winner and Puma’s top footballer though, Griezmann remains a huge commercial asset.
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