Lionel Messi Reportedly Set to Earn More Than Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar in 2018

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2018

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 21:  Leo Messi of Barcelona in action during the Spanish Copa del Rey Final match between Barcelona and Sevilla at Wanda Metropolitano on April 21, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will reportedly earn a total of £110 million this year, making him the highest-earning player in world football ahead of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar. 

According to figures from France Football (h/t Joe Strange of the MailOnline), after signing a new contract with the Blaugrana recently worth £500,000 a week, Messi is on course to take home a massive £110 million, a sum that includes bonuses and sponsorship deals too.

Messi's fortune for the season will reportedly outstrip Ronaldo's by £28 million, as the Portuguese is set to pocket a total of £82 million. Neymar, who became the most expensive player in history last summer, will make £71 million.

(L-R) Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain, Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 match between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on February 14, 201
VI-Images/Getty Images

The three players are a long way clear of everyone else. Ronaldo's Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale is said to be the fourth-highest-paid player on the planet, with £39 million expected to be pocketed this season.

Here are the top 20 earners, via Football365:

1. Lionel Messi (£110.2 million)
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (£82.2 million)
3. Neymar (£71.3 million)
4. Gareth Bale (£38.5 million)
5. Gerard Pique (£25.4 million
6. Toni Kroos (£24.7 million)
7. Sergio Ramos (£24.1 million)
8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (£23.4 million)
9. Antoine Griezmann (£22.7 million)
10. Luis Suarez (£22.7 million)
11. Andres Iniesta (£22.3 million)
12. Ezequiel Lavezzi (£22.1 million)
13. Alexis Sanchez (£20.6 million)
14. Karim Benzema (£20.6 million)
15. Thomas Muller (£20.1 million)
16. Edinson Cavani (£19.7 million)
17. Oscar (£19.4 million)
18. Robert Lewandowski (£19.4 million)
19. Paul Pogba (£19.2 million)
20. Manuel Neuer (£18.2 million)

There were some fears earlier in the campaign that Messi may be on the move from Barcelona. Before he signed his new contract, the 30-year-old had less than a year to run on his previous deal, meaning teams could have feasibly approached him with terms in January.

But the Argentina international made Barcelona fans across the world delighted by penning a new long-term contract. 101 Great Goals summed up the incredible amount Messi will be earning:

It's hard to argue against Messi being the top earner in world football, as he continues to dazzle for the Blaugrana.

Already this season Barcelona have won the Copa del Rey, as they trounced Sevilla 5-0 in Saturday's final, with the No. 10 on the scoresheet. The Catalan giants are also on the brink of winning La Liga and becoming the first team in the competition's history to go through the course of a campaign undefeated.

This season he's been given more responsibility by manager Ernesto Valverde, operating as a playmaker at times. Still, Messi has 29 goals and 12 assists from 32 appearances. The OptaJean Twitter account broke down his feats this season:

Ronaldo is also enjoying an incredible finish to the campaign, as he's helped propel Madrid into the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League once again with some incredible goalscoring.

According to Manu Sainz of AS, Madrid are looking to improve the contract of their No. 7, although in the piece it's noted a boosted salary still wouldn't see Ronaldo make as much as Messi. 

"Sources close to Real Madrid estimate that Cristiano could go from earning €21 million net to a figure of around €30 million plus a further €2 million in add-ons," said the report.

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