Former five times Ballon d’Or winner and current Barcelona and Argentina captain Lionel Messi has been unveiled as the world’s highest paid athlete over the past twelve months according to Forbes top 100 rankings.
Netting a reported £99.8m over the last year, the little magician knocked his footballing rival Cristiano Ronaldo into second place with the Portugeuse and Juventus player taking home a more than respectable £85,6 million.
Third place went to the world’s most expensive player Neymar as the Brazilian who plays his club football at Paris St Germain earned £82.5m.
With last year’s highest earner Floyd Mayweather retiring from the Ring, it meant Messi became only the second footballer ever to top the list after Ronaldo, whilst it was the first time since the rankings began in 1990 that three footballers were named in the top three spots.
With the American business magazine adding the athlete’s salaries, endorsements and any prize money earned between June 2018 and June 2019 as a way to calculate positions on the list that is made up of 62 American’s compared to the 38 none American athletes coming from another 24 countries.
Covering sports such as Boxing, Motor racing, tennis players, American football, basketball, baseball and Golf, we have to go down to 13th place to find the highest earning British athletes with Five time formula one world champion Lewis Hamilton and former heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua both earning £43.2m.
The highest female athlete on the list is tennis player Serena Williams who with just £22.9m in earning to her name placed 63rd on the list which had a set minimum earnings of £19.6m
1. Lionel Messi – Football- $127m (£99.8m)
2. Cristiano Ronaldo- Football- $109m (£85.6m)
3. Neymar $105m -Football- (£82.5m)
4. Canelo Alvarez $94m – Boxing -(£73.8m)
5. Roger Federer $93.4m – Tennis – (£73.3)
6. Russell Wilson $89.5m – American Football -(£70.3m)
7. Aaron Rodgers $89.3m – American Football- (£70.1m)
8. LeBron James $89m – Basketball – (£69.9m)
9. Stephen Curry $79.8m -Basketball – (£62.7m)
10, Kevin Durant $65.4m – Basketball – (£51.3m)