Europe’s football superstars, like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar, have seen their bank balances skyrocket over the years, with annual records consistently broken thanks to jaw-dropping salaries and tens of millions more from heavy endorsement deals.
But the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr took the whole thing to a new level.
With $200 mln in salary and bonuses, Cristiano Ronaldo earns more in a year than Kylian Mbappé, Mohamed Salah and Erling Haaland combined, according to data presented by CasinosEnLigne.com.
On-pitch earnings 3x higher than Messi
The on and off-field rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi has driven a significant portion of the incredible football salaries growth, despite the duo edging closer to retirement. However, that all changed last month when it was announced that Ronaldo was joining Al Nassr on a contract that made him the best-paid footballer in history.
According to Forbes data, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will make $200 mln annually through his salary and bonuses, plus an additional $60 mln from off-pitch earnings.
Thanks to his heavy contract with the Saudi Arabian football club, Cristiano’s on-pitch payments are three times higher than those of his biggest rival, Lionel Messi. The 2022 World Cup winner makes $65 mln through his salary and an additional $55 mln from endorsement deals.
Statistics also show that Cristiano is paid almost twice as the new generation leader, Killian Mbappé, who makes $110 mln in on-field earnings and another $18 mln off the field. Despite frequently stating his desire to play for Real Madrid, Mbappé committed his future to Paris Saint-German in a deal that makes him the second highest-paid footballer globally.
Three out of five best-paid are at PSG
Next on the list of highest-paid footballers is Messi’s teammate, Neymar, who signed a contract extension with PSG in the summer of 2021. The Brazilian star, who has been among the highest-paid footballers for a decade, receives $55 mln in annual salary and makes $32 mln in off-pitch earnings.
Mohamed Salah and Erling Haaland follow with $35 mln in on-pitch earnings, each. However, Salah makes almost five times more through endorsement deals than Manchester City’s superstar.
Analysed by clubs, three out of the five highest-paid football stars earn their living at Paris Saint-German. The French club pays $230 mln annually for Messi, Neymar and Mbappé to play in their team.