The five-time UEFA Champions League winner, who is currently on a €31 million/year ($36.6 million) net salary at Juventus, is going to turn into the best earner in soccer, followed by Brazilian star Neymar and, now in third place, Messi.
The Portuguese striker signed a four-year contract with the annual base salary set at €31 million, an amount that makes him by far the highest earner in Italian soccer.
To give a comparison, the second-largest paycheck in Serie A is currently collected by Juventus’s center-back Matthijs de Ligt, who is on a €8 million/year ($9.5 million) net wage, according to Gazzetta dello Sport estimates.
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In his last three seasons featuring on top of Juventus’s attack, Ronaldo proved to be an absolute difference maker: He scored a total of 101 goals in 133 games, helping his side lift two Scudetti, two Italian SuperCups and two Coppa Italia. With his national team, Ronaldo was also recently awarded the UEFA Euro 2020 Golden Boot.
Ronaldo, who is expected to join Juventus’s preseason camp at the end of July, will kick off the 2021/22 season as the number-one earner in soccer, thus dethroning his archrival Messi, who over the past years has featured on top of the list of the highest-paid soccer players.
According to an El Mundo revealing report from last January, Messi collected an impressive gross total of €555 million ($656 million) from 2017 to 2021 at Barcelona, averaging $164 million per season. (This gross amount, the article explains, included bonuses and variables alongside the player’s fixed salary).
In the new deal, which will see him wearing the Blaugrana colorsuntil 2026, Messi has accepted a 50% pay cut. Catalan sports newspaper L’Esportiu reports that Barcelona are now granting the six-time Ballon d’Or winner a salary of about €20 million ($24 million).
As Gazzetta dello Sport explains, the new contract puts Messi in third place among the soccer players with the highest salary in the world.
Second on this list, behind Ronaldo, is now Neymar, whose salary at Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain is just shy of €30 million ($35 million).
Ronaldo’s stellar contract at Juventus is set to expire on June 30, 2022, at the end of the upcoming Serie A season.