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Football's top 20 earners rake in $563 million

Football's top 20 highest earners amassed $563 million over the last year, with Cristiano Ronaldo topping Forbes' rich list once again.

The sport's wealthiest talents were revealed by the business magazine this week, as Real Madrid's Ronaldo was shown to have pocketed $82m in wages and endorsements.

That put him ahead of Barcelona rival Lionel Messi ($77m), with Paris Saint-Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic a distant third on $37m.

Only eight clubs are represented on the list, while Premier League outfit Manchester City are most prominently featured with four players.

Madrid, named by Forbes as the richest club in the world four years running, have three players on the list, with Gareth Bale ($34m) in fifth and James Rodriguez ($21m) 11th.

No player plying his trade in Italy makes the grade, while there are 10 from English clubs – underlining the Premier League's financial clout.

However, Ronaldo's reported earnings surpassed the combined total of the Premier League's leading trio of Wayne Rooney ($26m), Sergio Aguero ($24m) and Eden Hazard ($22m).


Forbes' 20 highest paid footballers:

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) - $82 million
2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - $77m
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain) - $37m
4. Neymar (Barcelona) - $36m
5. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) - $34m
6. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) - $26m
7. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) - $24m
8. Luis Suarez (Barcelona) - $23m
9. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) - $22m
10. Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea) - $21m
11. James Rodriguez (Real Madrid) - $21m
12. Yaya Toure (Manchester City) - $20m
13. Radamel Falcao (Chelsea) - $19m
14. Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain) - $18m
15. Mesut Ozil (Arsenal) - $18m
16. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United) - $18m
17. Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain) - $18m
18. Robin van Persie (Fenerbahce) - $17m
19. David Silva (Manchester City) - $17m
20. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) - $15m