Ronaldo, Cristiano Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest-paid player on Forbes' 2015 wealthy list, but his earnings pale in comparison to those of boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao during the previous year. Ronaldo is ranked third overall, one spot ahead of Barcelona's Lionel Messi.
His annual salary is $90 million, with $65 million coming from Madrid's capital contribution to his contract and $15 million in endorsement deals.
Other high earners on the list include Gareth Bale ($30 million), Karim Benzema ($27 million) and Neymar ($25 million). The entire squad of Real Madrid earns less than $100 million combined.
Forbes estimates Ronaldo made $80 million last year, making him the highest-paid athlete in world football.
He is joined on the list by his teammate Luka Modric and Barcelona players Messi and Luis Suarez. Modric earned $20 million, while the others made $10 million.
Suarez ended up number two on the list behind Ronaldo, making him the first Uruguayan to be ranked as top player in America. He was followed by Messi, then Modric.
Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar are in the top 10. Lionel Messi is second among all athletes and first among soccer players, earning $130 million in 2020 for Barcelona and Argentina. His salary is paid by FC Barca.
Ronaldo is third with a salary of $110 million from Juventus and Portugal. He's also the highest-paid player in the world.
Neymar is fourth with a salary of $100 million from Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil. Soccer isn't as popular in France as it is in Brazil so perhaps that explains why his salary is lower than those of Messi and Ronaldo.
Kylian Mbappe is at number five. The French superstar plays for Le Rouge et Noir and earns $80 million per year. He is a key player for France and won the Golden Ball as the best player at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Lionel Messi has already received one award this year when he was named the best player in the world by France's L'Equipe. If he keeps this up then he will have two more awards before the end of the year - the Balon d'Or and the Euroscarf Player of the Year.
Finally, there's Paulo Assis.
Forbes football rich list 8: the highest-paid players
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo once again top this year's Forbes list of the highest-paid soccer players, with Messi resolving a weeks-long contract dispute to claim the top place with $126 million, nudging out Juventus' Ronaldo, who comes in second with $117 million.
The two biggest names in world football have each earned billions over the past year, as they attempt to win another title before moving on. Both players have won multiple awards for their performances over the course of their careers, with Messi having received the Ballon d'Or twice and Ronaldo winning the European Footballer of the Year award twice.
Messi has also been named the best player in the world on three occasions by France's FIFA/Ballon d'Or prize. He was first nominated in 2011 when he was only 25 years old, beating out current Liverpool star Luis Suarez on what was originally called the FIFA World Player of the Year Award but now renamed the Ballon d'Or. They have since been rivals ever since, with Messi claiming his third victory in 2015 while playing for Barcelona. In between, he has also won the UEFA Champions League four times.
As for Ronaldo, he has been voted the best player in the world on five occasions by Germany's FIFA/UEFA Men's World Player of the Year award.