When it comes to measuring the greatest players in the world's most beautiful game, the focus usually turn into a pair of rivals with household names and exclusive claims.
We bring to you the list of the top 10 richest footballers in the world
It took FC Barcelona 105 years to win 64 trophies before Messi joined in 2005. In the past 16 years, he's led the team to 34 trophy wins, a performance that was landed his name among sport's great -- and earned him $1 billion in pretax career earnings. This year, he dragged the world of soccer through weeks of cliffhanger drama as he fought with the club about playing out the final year of his contract. He stays and stands to collect $92 million for doing so but Messi Watch 2021 is in full force, with all eyes peeled for clues on where he'd turn up next.
Ronaldo is the most popular athlete on the planet with 457 million social media followers. He's also the most engaged, per Hookit, regularly displaying his 0% body fat and poster-boy good looks for his CR7 lifestyle branded wear, health and wellness sponsors like Herbalife and Clear shampoo and his lifetime sponsor, Nike. He's the second player, after Iran's Ali Daei, to have scored more than 100 international goals, recently passing the mark in UEFA Nations League match against Sweden.
The 28-year-old Brazilian striker, one of the most polarizing players in the game for his antics on and off the pitch, quadrupled his pay and criticism when he left Barcelona for PSG in August 2017. He opened the Ligue 1's 2020-21 season with a red card by taking a swipe at the back of a player claiming it was in response to racial abuse.
For the second year in a row, Mbappe named the winner of Ligue 1's Goldeen Boot which honours the player with most goals for the league. His club also repeated as the league's champion with last season's title declared on point per match basis after play was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic. He was forced to spend Ligue 1's 2020-21 season opener in quarantine when he tested positive for Covid-19 but has remained asymptomatic, according to his lawyer.
Total earnings: $37 million
Salary: $24 million | Endorsements: $13 million
Salah has reached the 20-goal mark across all competitions in each of last three seasons at Liverpool, helping to propel the club to it's first premier league win in 30 years in 2019-20. He has the highest win rate of any league player to have appeared in more than 100 matches. In Liverpool's 2020-21 season opening match, he scored a hat trick.
Pogba's current deal expires next summer although Manchester United are planning to extend it one more year. The French playmaker scared fans when he posted that he had signed for Verdansk FC. It later turned out to be a fictional club and a stint by sponsor Activision to promote Call of Duty: Warzone, season 5. The 27-year-old has also appeared with Messi and Salah in the "Play Never Stops" Pepsi's campaign.
Since the Frenchman's disappointing debut at Barcelona this past season, there have been rumours that the club is negotiating to swap him to PSG in return for Neymar at the request of Messi. Greizmann is an avid Brooklyn Nets fan, often jetting over to the US for games and frequently posting his support on social media.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, France Football, the organizer of Ballon d'Or, decided to cancel the 2020 award for the best player. In doing so, it is robbing Lewandoski, who was the clear favourite to win.
In the Champions League, he scored in every match until the final against PSG, which his team won on a lone goal scored by teammate Kingsley Coman.
De Gea's $24 million salary makes him the highest goalkeeper in the world, In July, he made his 400th appearance in goal in his ninth year with Man United and broke the club's record for the most shutouts. He's been married to his wife, popular singer and actress Edune, since 2010 and frequently promotes her work on his social media accounts.