Messi tops football rich list with Ronaldo claiming most endorsements

Credit: Eric Alonso/Zuma Press/PA Images

Lionel Messi has topped Forbes’ annual ‘World’s Highest-Paid Soccer Players’ list for 2020, however, Cristiano Ronaldo still reigns as king of endorsements with the Juventus star set to net $47m.

In total Messi is expected to earn $126m by the end of 2020 with $92m on salary alone with the forward then securing $34m in endorsements. The announcement follows on from the Barcelona forwards recent partnership with Budweiser in which the player was named a global ambassador for the firm.

Nevertheless, despite claiming first place, Cristiano Ronaldo closely followed the Argentine in second. In total the forward is expected to earn $117m with a huge percentage of that partly due to sponsorships the player has received this year.

In the top ten list, three Premier League players have been featured with Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah ($37m) finishing above Paul Pogba ($34m) and David DeGea ($27m) with the Egyption claiming fifth on the table.

Despite Pogba, who finished sixth, having a greater salary than Salah, the Liverpool player is estimated to receive $13m in endorsements which is more than double the Frenchman’s $6m figure.

PSG pair Neymar and Mbappe are the only remaining players on the list to garner more than $10m in endorsements alone with the Brazilian placing third with a total earning of  $96m whilst Mbappe trails behind with a grand figure of $42m. Both players placed third and fourth respectively.

Mbappe’s commercial rise though has to be highlighted with the PSG player increasing his endorsement value substantially in the space of 12 months. In 2019’s list the player was ranked seventh with $4m in endorsements. This year the athlete will walk away with $14m showcasing how much the players brand has grown in such a short period of time.

Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann ($33m), Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale ($29m), and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski ($28m) complete the top ten with the players generating between $4m to $6m in sponsorships for 2020.