Ronaldo overtakes Messi as Forbes’ 2021 highest-earning footballer

Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Manchester United has helped him overtake Lionel Messi to become Forbes’ highest-earning footballer for 2021, as he keeps outpacing his rival after they switched sides this summer.

Ronaldo is will earn $125 million (£91.5m) before taxes during the 2021-22 season, with $70m (£51.25m) of that from his salary and bonuses for his return to Manchester United.

With $55m (£40m) of his earnings coming from commercial deals, Ronaldo is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world when it comes to sponsorship earnings.

Messi, meanwhile will earn $110m (£80.5m) this season while his new Paris Saint-Germain team-mates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe come third and fourth in the Forbes list respectively.

Only three other active athletes make more money commercially than Ronaldo: Roger Federer ($90m/£66m), LeBron James ($65m/£48m) and Tiger Woods ($60m/44m).

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