Cristiano Ronaldo has again beaten longstanding rival Lionel Messi in the overall earnings stakes, maintaining his status as the highest paid footballer in the world.
Overall, the Portuguese pocketed $82 million (R1.24 billion) in 2015, as revealed by Forbes magazine on Wednesday evening. Messi, meanwhile, finished in second place with total earnings of $77 million (R1.16 billion).
Ronaldo received $53 million (R801 million) in salary and bonus payments, plus an additional $29 million (R438 million) from endorsement deals, making the 31-year-old the highest paid footballer for a third consecutive year.
Messi earned $51 million (R771 million) in salary and bonus payments in 2015, despite winning the treble compared to zero major trophies won by Ronaldo in 2015. The Argentine also pocketed another $26 million (R393 million) from endorsement deals.
Based on Ronaldo's salary and bonuses, the Portuguese received $750 000 (R11.3 million) per goal or assist in 2015 – 71 in total – while Messi earned $722 000 (R10.9 million) for each of his 70 goals and assists.
Forbes compiled their rich list of the highest paid football stars after speaking "with players' agents, talent agencies, commercial sponsors and related experts in the US and Europe. Figures are in US$ and include soccer salaries, bonuses, and endorsements earned in 2015."
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