ATLANTA, GEORGIA—As expected Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi, Portuguese soccer icon Cristiano Ronaldo and Brazilian soccer hero Neymar lead the nominees for FIFA’s annual awards for best men’s player of the 2020-21 season.
To know the winner, votes from national team captains and coaches, fans, and media worldwide will be collected through Dec. 10.
A virtual ceremony will be held on Jan. 17 remotely, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, from FIFA headquarters in Zurich.
Earlier, Manchester United forward Ronaldo has overtaken Messi as the highest-paid soccer player for 2021.
Based on the top-earning soccer player list released by Forbes, Ronaldo is number one with $125 million earnings before taxes in the 2021-22 season, with $70 million coming from salary and bonuses at United.
The rest will come from endorsements and partnerships with brands including Nike, Herbalife, Clear, and his CR7 brand.
Messi, last year’s top-earning soccer player is second with d a salary of $75 million with an additional $35 million from endorsements for total expected earnings of $110 million.
The Argentine’s strike partner at PSG Neymar, who in May signed a new contract until 2025, is third on the list with total earnings of $95 million.
Top 10 highest earners in soccer:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – $125 million
2. Lionel Messi – $110 million
3. Neymar – $95 million
4. Kylian Mbappe – $43 million
5. Mohamed Salah – $41 million
6. Robert Lewandowski – $35 million
7. Andres Iniesta – $35 million
8. Paul Pogba – $34 million
9. Gareth Bale – $32 million
10. Eden Hazard – $29 million