Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is the highest-earning footballer in the world.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has made no shortage of headlines over the summer after submitting a transfer request to leave his boyhood club after a 19-year collaboration.
But just as a shock transfer to Manchester City looked to be inevitable, disagreements over Messi‘s contract at Camp Nou meant that club and player will continue to work together.
Messi earns billionaire status
Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu held crisis talks with Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, after the player refused to participate in training, eventually coming to a mutual agreement.
It remains to be seen whether Messi will remain at Barcelona for merely another season or if he’ll extend his deal before next summer, but his wallet certainly won’t be suffering in the meantime.
It’s long been acknowledged that Messi is one of the highest-earning footballers in the world and was hot on heals of Cristiano Ronaldo, who became the beautiful game’s first ever billionaire.
Messi and Ronaldo top the earnings
And now Forbes are claiming that Messi resolving his contract dispute has elevated the Argentine into that ten-figure promised land in their latest report on football earnings.
Their report notes that Messi and Ronaldo are ‘the only team-sport athletes to earn $1 billion during their careers’ and the two superstars unsurprisingly top the 2020 list of top earners.
Forbes formulate their figures based on conversations players’ agents, commercial sponsors and football experts from both sides of the pond, including both club wages and endorsements.
Football’s highest-earning players
You can check out the full list down below to see which players come the closest to rivalling Ronaldo and Messi’s continentally-sized bank balances:
10. David de Gea (Manchester United) – $27 million
Salary: $24 million
Endorsements: $3 million
9. Robert Lewandowski – $28 million
Salary: $24 million
Endorsements: $4 million
8. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) – $29 million
Salary: $23 million
Endorsements: $6 million