Football is considered as the most popular sport over the globe. These are the top five highest-paid football players in the present.
1. Lionel Messi
Lionel Andres Messi is the forward of FC Barcelona. He is the highest-paid football player and also the second-highest-paid athlete in the world, earning $111 million and taking home $84 million in salary and winnings as well as another $27 million in endorsements.
At the age of 13, Messi moved to Spain as FC Barcelona agreed to pay for his medical treatments. Eventually, the Argentinian football superstar led the club to championships. He set a world record for the footballer scoring most goals in a calendar year in 2012.
In November 2017, he signed a contract extension with Barcelona to stay with the club through the 2020–21 season with the promise of an at least $80 million annual salary and bonus.
The Barcelona forward also has a lifetime deal with Adidas. His other deals include Pepsi, Gatorade, and Huawei. A Messi theme park, named Messi Experience Park, is planned to open in 2020 in Nanjing, China.
Messi calls Castelldefels, Spain, home and is married with three kids.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is ranked as the second-highest-paid football player and the third-highest-paid athlete by Forbes. He took home a whopping total of $108 million, including $61 million in salary and winnings from Real Madrid club and $47 million in endorsements. He has been a forward on the Portugal national teams and Real Madrid.
Although he exited the 2018 World Cup early, Ronaldo remained in the public eyes as news broke that he transferred to Juventus on a four-year deal with the transfer fee totaled up to $140 million. His net annual salary will reportedly be $35 million.
In 2017, Ronaldo was honored with a fifth Ballon d’Or and also won his fifth Champions League title.
Additional, he has a lifetime contract with Nike and other deals such as Herbalife, EA Sports, and American Tourister.