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Ronaldo, Messi among World Cup’s top-paid soccer stars but not No. 1

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The best soccer players in the world make more than the top athlete in any other sport. Their salaries and endorsement deals eclipse the biggest names in basketball, American football or even boxing. Now, the best of the best are on display at the World Cup in Qatar. Here are the highest paid footballers in this week’s Five for Friday.

#5: Mohamed Salah

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah makes $35 million solely for his efforts on the field, while his sponsorship and endorsement deals bring in an additional $18 million per year, according to Forbes. A total annual pot of $53 million seems warranted for a player who has won three Golden Boots as the top scorer in the English Premier League. Salah has an endorsement deal with Vodafone Egypt and even starred in an advertisement with Rick and Morty for Adidas. His national team, Egypt, didn’t qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, but at 30 years old, he still has time to make another run.

#4: Neymar

Neymar is like Cher or Madonna, an international icon that goes by a single name. The Brazilian superstar was part of a record $263 million transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017. Neymar’s on-field compensation is $55 million and he makes another $32 million in endorsements, according to Forbes. He left a big contract with Nike to be the face of Puma in 2020. Now he’s hoping to lead Brazil to its sixth World Cup trophy, but that’s contingent on coming back from a nasty ankle injury he suffered during the group stage.

#3: Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo makes more in endorsements than any other footballer at $60 million per year, in addition to his $40 million salary, according to Forbes. He could be in line for the biggest payday in football if reports are true of his intent to sign a $207 million per year deal with Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr FC. That will likely have to wait since his national team, Portugal, is still in the hunt for a World Cup title. Ronaldo has sponsorships with Nike and Clear Shampoo, to name a few. He even has an airport in his home country named after him, but it was a humorous bust honoring him that stole all of the attention. Don’t worry, they rectified the situation (sort of).

#2: Lionel Messi

Like the debate over Michael Jordan and LeBron James, soccer fans have been debating whether Ronaldo or Lionel Messi meet the criteria of greatest of all time, or GOAT. While that spat may never be resolved, Messi edges out Ronaldo in pay for now. The Argentine forward makes $65 million per year with Paris Saint-Germain and another $55 million off the pitch, according to Forbes. As Messi enters the twilight of his storied career, there are rumors he could return to Barcelona or even come stateside and join Inter Miami. He isn’t expected to make a decision until after Argentina’s World Cup run.

#1: Kylian Mbappé

At 23 years old, Kylian Mbappé is the youngest player on the list and the only one to already score a World Cup title. Mbappé shares the pitch with Messi and Neymar at PSG, collecting $110 million per year in salary with $18 million in endorsements, according to Forbes. Mbappé is also on the Nike roster, an ambassador for Dior and has been on the cover of EA Sports FIFA for the last three years. The French national team is hoping to win its second consecutive World Cup, which would surely add more to his bottom line.

SIMONE DEL ROSARIO:

TOP SOCCER PLAYERS SCORE THE BIGGEST SALARIES IN ALL OF SPORTS, MORE THAN BASKETBALL, AMERICAN FOOTBALL OR EVEN BOXING. AS THE WORLD CUP SHOWCASES THE BEST OF THE BEST, HERE ARE THE HIGHEST PAID FOOTBALLERS IN THIS WEEK’S FIVE FOR FRIDAY.

LIVERPOOL’S MO SALAH RAKES IN $35 MILLIE ON THE PITCH, WHILE ENDORSEMENTS BRING IN AN ADDITIONAL $18 MILL PER YEAR. SALAH HAS WON THREE GOLDEN BOOTS AS THE TOP GOAL SCORER IN THE ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE. AND THAT’S SCORED HIM DEALS WITH VODAFONE EGYPT AND ADIDAS, WHERE HE WAS FEATURED IN AN AD WITH RICK AND MORTY. SALAH’S NATIONAL TEAM EGYPT DIDN’T QUALIFY FOR QATAR, BUT AT 30 HE STILL HAS PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITY.

NEYMAR IS LIKE CHER OR MADONNA, AN ICON THAT GOES BY JUST ONE NAME. THE BRAZILIAN WAS THE SUBJECT OF A RECORD $263 MILLION DOLLAR TRANSFER FROM BARCELONA TO PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN IN 2017. FORBES HAS HIS ON-FIELD COMPENSATION AT $55 MILLION WITH $32 MORE IN ENDORSEMENT DEALS. NEYMAR LEFT A MASSIVE CONTRACT WITH NIKE TO BE THE FACE OF PUMA IN 2020. AND HE’S HOPING TO LEAD BRAZIL TO ITS SIXTH WORLD CUP TROPHY, IF HE CAN COME BACK FROM A NASTY ANKLE INJURY.

CRISTIANO RONALDO MAKES MORE IN ENDORSEMENTS THAN ANY OTHER FOOTBALLER, RAKING IN $60 MILL A YEAR, ON TOP OF A $40 MILLION DOLLAR SALARY. THE PORTUGUESE SUPERSTAR WAS LOOKING FOR A NEW TEAM AFTER MANCHESTER UNITED TERMINATED HIS CONTRACT IN NOVEMBER, BUT THE 37-YEAR-OLD REPORTEDLY HAS A HUGE OFFER FROM THE SAUDIS THAT WOULD MAKE HIM #1 ON THIS LIST AFTER HE SIGNS. AS FOR SPONSORSHIPS, FROM CLEAR SHAMPOO TO NIKE, HE’S IN HOT DEMAND. HE EVEN HAS AN AIRPORT NAMED IN HIS HONOR, JUST DON’T BRING UP THAT BUST THEY INITIALLY UNVEILED.

LIONEL MESSI MAKES $65 MILLION PER YEAR PLAYING WITH PSG, WHILE SCORING $55 MILLION OFF THE PITCH. ARGENTINA IS TRYING TO MAKE A RUN FOR THE WORLD CUP, WHICH WOULD LIKELY GIVE THE SUPERSTAR EVEN MORE ENDORSEMENTS. THERE ARE RUMORS THAT HE COULD RETURN TO BARCELONA OR EVEN COME TO THE U.S. FOR THE TWILIGHT OF HIS CAREER, BUT HE LIKELY WON’T MAKE ANY DECISIONS UNTIL AFTER QATAR.

KYLIAN MBAPPE IS THE ONLY PLAYER ON THE LIST TO ALREADY HAVE A WORLD CUP TITLE AND THE YOUNGEST TO BOOT. THE 23-YEAR-OLD PLAYS WITH MESSI AND NEYMAR AT PSG MAKING $110 MILLION A YEAR AND A PALTRY $18 MILLION IN ENDORSEMENTS. MBAPPE IS ANOTHER NIKE ATHLETE, A DIOR AMBASSADOR, AND HE’S GRACED THE COVER OF EA SPORTS FIFA THE LAST FEW YEARS. FRANCE HAS A DECENT CHANCE TO REPEAT IN THE WORLD CUP, WHICH COULD INJECT MORE CASH INTO HIS ACCOUNTS.

WITH ALL THAT MONEY FLOATING AROUND, WE’RE STILL DEBATING WHO GETS TO CALL THEIR SPORT FOOTBALL? THAT’S FIVE FOR FRIDAY. I’M SIMONE DEL ROSARIO. AND IT’S JUST BUSINESS.

The best soccer players in the world make more than the top athlete in any other sport. Their salaries and endorsement deals eclipse the biggest names in basketball, American football or even boxing. Now, the best of the best are on display at the World Cup in Qatar. Here are the highest paid footballers in this week’s Five for Friday.

#5: Mohamed Salah

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah makes $35 million solely for his efforts on the field, while his sponsorship and endorsement deals bring in an additional $18 million per year, according to Forbes. A total annual pot of $53 million seems warranted for a player who has won three Golden Boots as the top scorer in the English Premier League. Salah has an endorsement deal with Vodafone Egypt and even starred in an advertisement with Rick and Morty for Adidas. His national team, Egypt, didn’t qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, but at 30 years old, he still has time to make another run.

#4: Neymar

Neymar is like Cher or Madonna, an international icon that goes by a single name. The Brazilian superstar was part of a record $263 million transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017. Neymar’s on-field compensation is $55 million and he makes another $32 million in endorsements, according to Forbes. He left a big contract with Nike to be the face of Puma in 2020. Now he’s hoping to lead Brazil to its sixth World Cup trophy, but that’s contingent on coming back from a nasty ankle injury he suffered during the group stage.

#3: Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo makes more in endorsements than any other footballer at $60 million per year, in addition to his $40 million salary, according to Forbes. He could be in line for the biggest payday in football if reports are true of his intent to sign a $207 million per year deal with Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr FC. That will likely have to wait since his national team, Portugal, is still in the hunt for a World Cup title. Ronaldo has sponsorships with Nike and Clear Shampoo, to name a few. He even has an airport in his home country named after him, but it was a humorous bust honoring him that stole all of the attention. Don’t worry, they rectified the situation (sort of).

#2: Lionel Messi

Like the debate over Michael Jordan and LeBron James, soccer fans have been debating whether Ronaldo or Lionel Messi meet the criteria of greatest of all time, or GOAT. While that spat may never be resolved, Messi edges out Ronaldo in pay for now. The Argentine forward makes $65 million per year with Paris Saint-Germain and another $55 million off the pitch, according to Forbes. As Messi enters the twilight of his storied career, there are rumors he could return to Barcelona or even come stateside and join Inter Miami. He isn’t expected to make a decision until after Argentina’s World Cup run.

#1: Kylian Mbappé

At 23 years old, Kylian Mbappé is the youngest player on the list and the only one to already score a World Cup title. Mbappé shares the pitch with Messi and Neymar at PSG, collecting $110 million per year in salary with $18 million in endorsements, according to Forbes. Mbappé is also on the Nike roster, an ambassador for Dior and has been on the cover of EA Sports FIFA for the last three years. The French national team is hoping to win its second consecutive World Cup, which would surely add more to his bottom line.

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