Cristiano Ronaldo replaces Lionel Messi as highest-paid footballer in the world

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Cristiano Ronaldo has replaced Lionel Messi as the highest-paid footballer in the world, according to latest rankings released by Forbes.

Ronaldo is set to make $125m (£91.63m) before taxes in the 2021-22 season after moving back to Manchester United with $70m (£51.31m) coming from his salary and bonuses at Old Trafford, according to Forbes.

The 36-year-old is set to earn an estimated $55m (£40.31m) from commercial deals, with only three athletes set to earn more from sponsorship; Roger Federer ($90m, £65.97m), LeBron James ($65m, £47.64m) and Tiger Woods ($60m, £43.98m).

Messi, who topped last year’s rankings, falls to second despite sealing a lucrative move to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

Forbes claim the former Barcelona star will earn $110m (£80.63m) this season, with $75m (£50m) of that figure coming from his salary and bonuses at the Parc des Princes.

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Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring his side's second goal
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is fifth on the list – one of three Premier League players to feature in the top 10

Meanwhile, Messi’s club team-mates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are third and fourth on the list respectively.

Neymar is set to earn $95m (£69.68m) in the 2021-22 season, while Mbappe is some way behind the Brazilian with expected earnings of $43m (£31.54m).

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Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is fifth in the rankings with expected earnings of $41m (£30.6m), while Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski is sixth with $35m (£25.66m).

Bale started and scored in Real Madrid's 3-3 draw with Levante on the weekend
Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale is the highest ranked British player in ninth

Perhaps a surprise inclusion on the list is former Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta, who is ranked seventh with earnings of $35m (£25.66m) – the bulk of which comes from his salary and bonuses at Japanese club Vissel Kobe.

Eighth on the list is Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, who is set to make $34m (£24.92m), while Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale is the highest-ranked British player in ninth with expected earnings of $32m (£23.46m).

Another Real Madrid player rounds off the top 10, former Chelsea winger Eden Hazard, who is set to earn $29m (£21.26m) in the 2021-22 campaign.

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