Paris Saint-Germain superstar Lionel Messi is still the highest-paid footballer in the world ahead of fierce rival Cristiano Ronaldo, according to reports.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner reportedly earned an astonishing £470m (€555m) over four years on his previous Barcelona deal.
Messi was prepared to take a 50 per cent pay cut to continue his stay at the Camp Nou, but Barcelona’s contract offer was scuppered due to La Liga’s financial regulations.
The 34-year-old Argentine forward made an emotional exit from the Spanish club before signing for PSG on a free transfer.
Messi signed a two-year deal with PSG (with an option to extend by a further year) and became the club’s highest-paid player.
According to reports, the Barcelona legend earns a whopping £25m per year as his base salary after tax.
Radio Times reports that Messi edged out Juventus superstar Ronaldo to be the best-paid player in the world.
The publication used different sources (including L’Equipe and Forbes) to determine each player’s salary per week at their respective clubs.
Radio Times added that its figures didn’t ‘include bonuses, extra fees and players’ various sponsorship deals’ as it ‘can instantly double their annual income.’
Messi is reportedly on a staggering £960,000 per week in the French capital, which puts him £60,000 ahead of second-placed Ronaldo.
“Once bonuses, signing-on fees and appearance fees are paid, Messi will be lifting a pay packet worth well above the million-a-week milestone, and that’s before external sponsorships,” Radio Times said.
The former Barcelona captain would also earn a hefty £25m through his endorsements and sponsorships deals.
Posted below are the 10 highest-paid footballers in the world in 2021.
10. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich): £350,000 per week
9. David de Gea (Manchester United): £375,000 per week
8. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City): £385,000 per week
7. Kylian Mbappe (PSG): £410,000 per week
6. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid): £500,000 per week
5. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona): £575,000 per week
4. Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid): £575,000 per week
3. Neymar (PSG): £606,000 per week
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus): £900,000 per week
1. Lionel Messi (PSG): £960,000 per week
Featured Image Credit: PA