Cristiano Ronaldo currently earns less than half of Lionel Messi and is reportedly upset that he is not offered a higher salary by Real Madrid's bosses - he has now been supported in his claim.
Click through the mini-gallery above to see the five highest paid players, as per Marca.
The Real Madrid hero equalled the FC Barcelona superstar’s Ballon d’Or tally after lifting his fifth Golden Ball in December and also helped Los Blancos to win three of the last four UEFA Champions League titles.
Messi, though, reportedly earns an annual salary of €46 million (R681 million) after his recent contract extension – more than double of Ronaldo’s current €21 million (R311 million).
This massive gap has left the 32-year-old frustrated and he now received a backing from former Real boss Manuel Pellegrini.
"Messi has a natural capacity to play football that nobody can match,” the Hebei China Fortune coach told El Larguero, as quoted by ESPN.
"But Cristiano, with his effort and hard work and huge ambition, deserves praise as a tremendous professional.
"Maybe he does not have the same technical qualities, but this allowed him to match what Messi has done all these years.
"I believe that both deserve to be the best paid players in the world for what they have done."
Ronaldo is currently Real’s all-time record scorer, netting 426 goals in 420 appearances. This season, though, he has failed to reach his own standard after just scoring eight LaLiga goals.
Do you think Ronaldo deserves to earn as much as Messi? Have your say in the comments section below.