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8 Dec, 2016 18:02

La Liga duo Messi & Ronaldo surprisingly not biggest wage-earners in world football – report

La Liga duo Messi & Ronaldo surprisingly not biggest wage-earners in world football – report

La Liga stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are undoubtedly the two top stars in world football, but they are reportedly being outshone in the salary stakes by an unlikely name.

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According to whistleblowers 'Football Leaks', Messi currently pockets around $456,000 per week with Barcelona, while Ronaldo's recent pay rise took him to a whopping weekly salary of $743,000 at Real Madrid.

However, Messi's Argentina teammate Ezequiel Lavezzi is apparently earning an eye-watering $832,000 a week in the Chinese Super League.

The 31-year-old left Paris Saint-Germain last February to sign for Hebei China Fortune, coached by former Man city boss Manuel Pellegrini, and although he is yet to score for the club, Lavezzi is raking in the cash.

While Lavezzi's wages might outstrip those of Ronaldo and Messi, it's unlikely he will challenge their place at the top of the tree for overall earnings.

According to Forbes highest-paid athlete list 2016, Ronaldo earned $82 million in 2016 to place him at the top of the rankings, with Messi just $5 million behind in second.

The list takes into account an athlete’s appearance earnings and endorsements.

Other media outlets, including Spain's El Mundo and Germany's Der Spiegel, have provided further intriguing facts about player contracts. In addition to his weekly wage, Lavezzi is believed to have received two furnished houses, two cars, a cook and a driver.

Ronaldo reportedly had a confidentiality clause inserted into the contracts of his employees that work at his home. If they revealed any of his private affairs, they would have to pay out "a minimum of €300,000" ($324,000).

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Barcelona star Neymar has an agreement in place that means he receives $54,000 for the use of his signature on Panini stickers, and when Thiago Silva left Milan for PSG in 2012, he made an agreement with the French club that they would pay off his debts totalling $2.7 million with the Italian Treasury.