Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo is now the highest paid soccer player in the world with $73 million in total earnings.
According to the latest list by Forbes, the 29-year-old Portuguese star usurped the No. 1 spot from the now–retired David Beckham thanks to wages totaling $49 million and $24 million in endorsements.
It’s a $30 million boost in earnings for Ronaldo from last year, and the Spanish Primera now owns the top two spots with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi next up with $65 million. Messi is expected to receive a raise of €13 million when his new deal is signed.
The list of highest-paid players is loaded with stars strictly from the English Premier League, Spanish Primera and France's Ligue 1.
Some players dropped, most notably Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. Both actually earned more money in 2014, but the likes of Paris Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Messi teammate Neymar posted outstanding earnings with higher salaries and endorsements from a year ago.
Ibrahimovic wasn’t even ranked in the top 10 last year, while Neymar moved up from No. 8 to No. 4 after his first year in Spain.
This year’s Ballon d’Or recipient, the Portuguese racked up 31 goals and helped Real Madrid reach the Champions League final with his leadership and otherworldly scoring abilities. Ranking tops in salary and endorsements, Ronaldo is by far the highest paid player in the world.
The Argentine star agreed to a new contract, and while he hasn’t signed yet, his wage is set to rise and he could be No. 1 next year.
Known for both his incredible goals and cockiness on the pitch, Ibrahimovic has brought PSG back amongst the top clubs in Europe with two consecutive French Ligue 1 titles.
The only player on the list who’s endorsements outweighed salary, Neymar has become a sensation in Barcelona and looks to guide Brazil to a sixth World Cup title in Rio this summer. He earned $12 million in salary, and $16 million from sponsors like Nike, Panasonic and Volkswagen.
A serious knee injury derailed the Colombian’s season, his first in Monaco, but he could still play a significant role in his country’s World Cup bid.
An astounding and record-breaking transfer to Real Madrid put lots of pressure on Bale, but his winning-wonder goal in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona solidified his place in Spain’s toughest league.
Rooney and the Red Devils trudged through a downtrodden English Premier League season, but endorsements from Nike, Samsung and Harper Collins keep 28-year-old in the black and the top 10.
He helped City capture a second EPL title in the last three years with 17 goals, the fourth most in league this term.
Just below his teammate, Toure was third in the EPL with 20 goals and his contract is loaded with incentives which could skyrocket his wages next year if City performs well again.
No longer considered one of the top strikers in the world, Torres might have played his last match at Stamford Bridge but his sponsorship deals with Adidas and Pepsi still rank him among the highest paid.