Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s intense battle for supremacy for more than a decade has divided football fans for years. News has now emerged that the Argentinean is far ahead of the Portuguese in terms of wages earned before tax deduction.
According to Sportsmole, the Barcelona skipper’s salary is twice that of the Juventus ace at the moment. Lionel Messi is the highest-paid footballer on the planet, but he is miles ahead of the rest of the pack. Cristiano Ronaldo earns the second-highest wages in football, followed by Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar.
Barcelona are paying the Argentinean an astronomical salary, despite being in a financial mess due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To make matters worse, Lionel Messi’s current deal is set to expire this summer and there has been no progress in contract talks.
The Argentinean’s future continues to hang in the balance, as just like Cristiano Ronaldo, there are very few clubs who can afford him. However, the Barcelona ace is far ahead of his rival when it comes to current wages earned.
According to reports, Lionel Messi earns an astonishing £107.6m per year in wages before tax. Cristiano Ronaldo’s annual salary is less than half of that. The Portuguese pockets an annual salary of £46.5m while Neymar earns £31.3m per year at PSG.
Interestingly, the Ligue 1 giants are perhaps among the few clubs in the world who can afford the Argentinean’s wages.
PSG have been linked with a move for Lionel Messi in recent months and the Ligue 1 giants are also said to be interested in signing Cristiano Ronaldo. It is hard, though, to imagine one club housing the top three earners in the world amid the stringent norms of FIFA's Financial Powerplay laws.
The Premier League also boasts some of the highest earners in football, including Gareth Bale, who tops the list with a salary of £25.6m per year. He is followed by David de Gea with £18.9m, Kevin de Bruyne with £16.1m, Raheem Sterling with £15.2m and Paul Pogba with £14.5m.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola earns a staggering £19.3m per year. However, his wages are eclipsed by the £36.9m Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone earns.