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Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo Top List of World's Highest-Paid Soccer Players

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are two of soccer's biggest stars around the globe and it's no surprise that with their success comes some lucrative contracts. 

On Monday, Forbes released its annual list ranking the world's highest-paid soccer players with Messi and Ronaldo landing the top two spots.

Following tense contract negotiations, Messi's recent decision to stay with Barcelona allowed him to edge out the Juventus star and claim No. 1 with $126 million in total earnings. Messi has brought in $34 million in endorsements to go with his $92 million salary. After agreeing to play out the final year of his contract, the 33-year-old can search for a new club in 2021 and possibly collect an even higher salary.

Ronaldo's cashed in on his huge fanbase and lucrative sponsorships to reach $117 million in total earnings. Through endorsement deals with companies like Nike, Clear shampoo and Herbalife, he's brought in $47 million on top of his $70 million salary.

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Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe surprisingly landed fourth on the list after another huge season for the young star. The 21-year-old was named the Ligue 1 Golden Boot winner, which is awarded to the player with the most goals in the league, for a second year in a row. PSG also won its second consecutive league title after last season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mbappe raked in $14 million in endorsements, which includes deals like his EA Sports FIFA 21 game cover, making him one of the youngest players to land it solo. His total earnings reached $42 million.

Mbappe's PSG teammate Neymar ($96 million in total earnings) sits third on the list, while Liverpool's Mohamed Salah ($37 million) is fifth.

Manchester United and French national team star Paul Pogba ($34 million), Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann ($33 million), Real Madrid's Gareth Bale ($29 million), Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski ($28 million) and Manchester United's David De Gea ($27 million) round out the top 10.

Forbes' list includes soccer salaries for the 2020-21 season, bonuses and endorsements after converting the figures to U.S. dollars. All earnings are pre-tax.