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Cristiano Ronaldo sits on top of Forbes’ football rich list for 2023 as the highest-paid footballer in the world this year – ahead of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

The Portuguese forward, who has been playing for Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr since January, leads the list with expected total earnings of $260 million.

That includes $200m from his club, plus an additional $60m from endorsements and sponsorships – making him the highest paid professional in any sport this year.

Messi is second on almost half Ronaldo’s total, with estimated earnings of $135m. The Inter Miami attacker is the first MLS player to feature on the list since David Beckham in 2012.

Neymar is third, with the Al-Hilal forward on $112m, just ahead of his former Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Mbappe on $110m.

Three of the top five play their football in Saudi Arabia, with Al-Ittihad’s former Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema in fifth on $106m.

Manchester City striker Erling Haaland (on $58m) is the first Premier League player to feature on the list.

The Norwegian is in sixth, ahead of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah ($53m), his former Reds team-mate Sadio Mane ($52m), City’s Kevin De Bruye ($39m) and ex-Spurs striker Harry Kane ($36m).

Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski is the highest-paid player from LaLiga, with earning of $34m.

More Cristiano Ronaldo storiesJude Bellingham is matching Ronaldo’s strike rate at Real Madrid during the opening part of his career at the club. 

Aaron Ramsey, meanwhile, has revealed there is an unseen side to Ronaldo’s character.

In our quiz, can you name the 27 players who were team-mates of both Ronaldo and Lionel Messi?

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