Lionel Messi Tops List of World’s Highest Paid Athletes Ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo

?Barcelona star Lionel Messi has topped Forbes’ list of the highest paid athletes on the planet ahead of former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

In their list of the top 100 highest paid stars, Messi dethroned boxer Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather who topped last year’s rankings, earning a reported $127m over last 12 months through a combination of wages and endorsements.

Lionel Messi

Juventus star Ronaldo and Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar complete the top three in Forbes’ list, standing alone as the only athletes to pocket over $100m over the last year.

Although the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals go to football players, only Paul Pogba (44) and Andrés Iniesta (46) are also in the top 50.

Further down, Alexis Sánchez (53), Kylian Mbappé (55), Mesut Özil (57), Oscar (66), Antoine Griezmann (75), Gareth Bale (79) and Mohamed Salah (99) make up football’s representation on the list.

Despite having 12 players on the list, it’s largely dominated by stars from sports like American football and basketball.

Paris Saint-Germain winger and World Cup winner Mbappé is the youngest player on the entire top 100 list, two years younger than second place Saquon Barkley – a running back for the New York Giants.


At the other end of the spectrum, Iniesta is only the 16th oldest player on the list, with 48-year-old golfer Phil Mickelson (19th in terms of earnings) claiming the title.

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