0304 GMT August 12, 2022
The Portuguese forward will earn a reported $125 million this year in total with $70 million coming from his new club Manchester United and $55 million from commercial endorsements, eurosport.com reported.
According to the report, Roger Federer, LeBron James and Tiger Woods are the only sportsman who earn more from commercial interests than the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.
Messi dropped down to second in the table with combined earnings of $110 million with $75 million coming from his PSG contract.
Messi's team-mates Neymar ($95 million) and Kylian Mbappe ($43 million) are third and fourth respectively. Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah ($41 million) comes in at fifth.
Former Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta, who now plays for J-League side Vissel Kobe in Japan, is the only player from outside Europe who makes the list down in seventh place, level with sixth-placed Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) on $35 million.
Manchester United's Paul Pogba ($34 million) and Real Madrid duo Gareth Bale ($32 million) and Eden Hazard ($29 million) round out the top ten.
Forbes report that the 10 highest-paid football players are expected to collect pre-tax earnings of $585 million this season, which is up from last year’s $570 million.