14 Oct Ronaldo beats Messi to top Forbes’ football rich list
Ronaldo, who Forbes also ranks as the highest paid athlete of any sport, topped the list with expected total earnings of $260 million.
The Portugal forward’s contract with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr, who he joined from Manchester United in January, is thought to be worth $200m while his endorsement portfolio that includes the likes of Nike and Jacob & Co is estimated to be worth $60m annually, according to Forbes.
Messi is the first MLS player to appear in the top 10 since David Beckham in 2012.
According to Forbes, the four Saudi Pro League players’ combined income counts for more than half of the $995m collectively earned by all 11 players on the rich list.
Forbes said its on-field earnings figures include all prize money, salaries and bonuses earned in the last 12 months while off-field earnings are an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees, licensing income and cash returns from businesses they operate.
Forbes’ Top 11 highest paid footballers list in 2023
1. Cristiano Ronaldo ($260m)
2. Lionel Messi ($135m)
3. Neymar ($112m)
4. Kylian Mbappé ($110m)
5. Karim Benzema ($106m)
6. Erling Haaland ($58m)
7. Mohamed Salah ($53m)
8. Sadio Mané ($52m)
9. Kevin De Bruyne ($39m)
10. Harry Kane ($36m)
11. Robert Lewandowski ($34m)