It’s not rocket science to know that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo earn a pretty penny, let’s face it.
Nobody is under the illusion that perhaps the two greatest players to ever grace the game are settling for the minimum wage, and desperately counting down to the month’s end for their wage slip.
With the money in football these days, it’s understandable that Messi and Ronaldo command gargantuan salaries, wherever they go. That’s just how it works across sport, where global superstars reap the rewards of the revenue they bring.
At a glance, sieving through reported mega wages and contracts can be a numbing task, considering we see so much of it. But when we actually stop for a moment and try to comprehend those earnings, that’s when things get a little sickening.
Amid Barcelona‘s financial ruin, Messi agreed to take an incredible pay cut on his mega contract at Camp Nou, but even that wasn’t enough to ensure they could comply with regulations and re-sign their greatest player ever.
As a result, Messi moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2021, who are just about the only club in Europe’s top five leagues who could shoulder Messi’s salary demands without worry.
Juventus put all of their eggs in the Ronaldo basket in 2018, in a bit to win the Champions League. But as that became increasingly unlikely to happen with each passing season, they were forced to sell the five-time Ballon d’Or winner in the same summer Messi left for Paris, as the Portugal international was proving too financially crippling.
He made an emphatic return to Manchester United where his goals have saved the Red Devils from even further embarrassment in 2021/22. But that has also come at the cost of an, as expected, major contract over two years.
So, with that in mind, just how much are Ronaldo and Messi earning, and how does it break down?
What do Messi and Ronaldo earn?
According to data from BetSperts and their Athlete Salary Calculator, we are able to go inter further detail about what the mega deals of major sports stars look like, thanks to their estimated earnings.
They state that Messi, correct as of his move to PSG, earns an estimated total of over £97.5 million a year, making him the highest paid athlete in the world. Staggering.
Even more staggering is the break down, giving us a better understanding of that number, which is made up of major sponsorship deals with adidas, Ginny Hilfiger and others, on top of his PSG salary.
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That £97.5m works out to Messi taking home some £267,123 per day, at a rate of around £11,130 per hour. Not a bad hourly rate, that.
In fact, as we’re writing this, Messi is earning more than we ever will, which is rather depressing. All in all, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is earning around £185 a minute and £3.09 per second.
For further context, the 2021 UK average salary was calculated to be £38,131, which for many would be a more than impressive salary. Messi earns that in two hours and 34 minutes. Seriously
It doesn’t get any easier to swallow looking at Ronaldo’s numbers, either. What is interesting, however, is that he earns less than Messi, having also taken a wage cut to join United.
Combining his on-pitch earnings with various endorsement deals, and the power of his ever-growing CR7 brand. Clothing, hotels, gyms, fragrances, you name it. The data states Ronaldo is earning around £86.25m per year; less than Messi, but hardly a wage that will have him needing to be frugal.
That mammoth salary of Ronaldo’s equates to around £9,846 per hour. To go further, that’s £164 a minute or £2.74 per second. In the time it’s taken to read this article, the pair have earned an astonishing amount of money.
Also among the top earners are Tennis legend Roger Federer, NBA stars Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, NFL icon Tom Brady, and Messi’s PSG colleagues, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Neymar comes out with around £71.625m per year according to the data, while Mbappe was said to come out with £32.25m per year. With the recent news of his contract extension, however, we know that number has almost certainly gone up.
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So, there you have it. In the time it’s taken for us to write and read this article, football’s biggest stars have earned hundreds and thousands. Quite a harrowing thought.
Must be nice to be half decent at kicking a ball around the pitch, right? Not bad at all.