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Cristiano Ronaldo tops Forbes’ highest-paid footballers list for 2023.

Forbes has released its annual list of the highest-paid footballers in the world, based on their income from salaries, bonuses, and endorsements.

 

The list is topped by none other than Cristiano Ronaldo, who became the highest-paid footballer and athlete globally in 2023, after joining Saudi Pro League club Al Nassr in December. The Portuguese legend, who has won five Ballon d’Or awards and four Champions League titles, earned a staggering €235 million in 2023, making him the first footballer to cross the €200 million mark in a single year.

Ronaldo’s long-time rival, Lionel Messi, secured the second spot on the list, with an income of €122 million in 2023. The Argentine maestro, who lifted the FIFA World Cup trophy with his national team in 2022, moved from Paris Saint Germain to Inter Miami in Major League Soccer, following his desire to play in the United States. Messi, who has won eight Ballon d’Or awards and six Champions League titles, also has lucrative endorsement deals with Adidas, Pepsi, and Huawei.

The third spot on the list belongs to Neymar, who earned €101 million in 2023. The Brazilian star, who was part of the PSG team that won the Champions League in 2022, also made a surprising move to Saudi Pro League, joining Al Hilal in the summer. Neymar, who has won two Copa America titles with Brazil, is also one of the most marketable athletes in the world, with sponsors such as Nike, Puma, and Red Bull.

The list also features other prominent players such as Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema, and Sadio Mane, who also switched to Saudi Pro League clubs in 2023, boosting their earnings significantly. The Saudi Pro League, which has been investing heavily in attracting top talent, has become one of the richest and most competitive leagues in the world, challenging the dominance of Europe.

Here is the Forbes list of the top ten highest-paid footballers in 2023:

Cristiano Ronaldo – €235 Million – Al Nassr
Lionel Messi – €122 million – Inter Miami
Neymar – €101 million – Al Hilal
Kylian Mbappe – €99 million – PSG
Karim Benzema – €96 million – Al-Ittihad
Erling Haaland – €52 million – Manchester City
Mohammed Salah – €48 million – Liverpool
Sadio Mane – €47 million – Al Nassr
Kevin De Bruyne – €35 million – Manchester City
Harry Kane – €33 million – Bayern Munich

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