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Forbes Released 2016 World’s Highest Paid Football Players | Only 1 African Player Made the List

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Cristiano Ronaldo was the world’s highest-paid footballer — and highest-paid team athlete — last year, according to US business magazine Forbes.

Real Madrid star Ronaldo was said to have earned a total of $82 million (£56.7m), with an annual salary of $53m (£36.7m) and $29m (£20m) in endorsements.

The 31-year-old Portugal captain, who became the world’s most expensive player when he joined Madrid from Manchester United for £80m in 2009, signed a lucrative new five-year contract at the Bernabeu in 2013.

Forbes, which also ranked Real Madrid as football’s most valuable club, said Ronaldo, a three-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner, is now the best-paid team athlete across all sport.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or winner, was second in the list on $77m (£53.3m), with the 28-year-old’s $51m (£35.3m) salary augmented by $26m (£18m) in endorsements. The Argentina captain renewed his Barca contract in 2014.

Forbes reported that Ronaldo has made $550m (£380.9m) over the course of his 14-year playing career, which began with Sporting Lisbon, while Messi, who has spent his entire career with Barca, has made $450m (£311.5m) in his 11 years.

Former basketball star Kobe Bryant, who retired in April, is the only team sport athlete to have made more than Ronaldo, with Forbes reporting that he earned $680m (£470.8m) in a career that lasted 17 years.

Who is the richest footballer in the world today? Forbes has released a list of 20 footballers with the highest income. Click “Continue Reading” to see them

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