A new study by France Football magazine has revealed that eternal rivals Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the two best paid footballers on the planet.
Coming in third is none other than Brazilian superstar Neymar – who has twice shared the ballon d’Or podium with the two greats.
For followers of football around the world, the top three is a no-brainer as they are easily the most bankable stars in the game.
To reach its findings, France Football, organisers of the prestigious ballon d’Or, factored in the gross players’ salaries, earnings from image rights and bonuses racked up last season.
And when all is done, the publication puts Argentine maestro Messi’s total annual income as €131 million – leaving him ahead of his great rival Ronaldo on €118 million.
Neymar, who stunned the world when he moved to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona for a world record €222 transfer fee in 2017, completes the top three with total pay of €95 million.
Interestingly, Messi Ronaldo and Neymar have continued to top the game’s money list for some time now, and it doesn’t look like they are about to relinquish their hold on it.
This is particularly true when one considers that the fourth player on the list – Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale – earned an estimated €37 million for the year in review.
Not bad, of course, but not even close to shattering the top three.