Cristiano Ronaldo overtakes Lionel Messi on Forbes’ list of highest-paid footballers in 2023

Messi may have dominated football headlines since moving to Major League Soccer with Inter Miami, but he still falls short in one area.

According to Forbes (h/t ESPN), Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo has surpassed Messi, Neymar and others to become the highest-paid football player in the world this year.

Ronaldo was also named the highest-paid athlete in all sports by Forbes, topping the list with projected total earnings of $260 million. His contract with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr is believed to be worth $200 million. He joined the team in January after previously playing for Manchester United.

Messi ranks second with expected total earnings of $135 million. Still, he has reason to celebrate as he is the first MLS player to crack the top 10 since David Beckham in 2012.

Forbes’ top 10 highest-paid football players are as follows:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo ($260 million)
  2. Lionel Messi ($135 million)
  3. Neymar ($112 million)
  4. Kylian Mbappe ($110 million)
  5. Karim Benzema ($106 million)
  6. Erling Haaland ($58 million)
  7. Mohamed Salah ($53 million)
  8. Sadio Mane ($52 million)
  9. Kevin De Bruyne ($39 million)
  10. Harry Kane ($36 million)

Ronaldo will play for Al Nasr against Damac on October 21. Messi and Inter Miami will face Charlotte FC on October 18th.

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