Messi beats Ronaldo in 2019 Forbes rich list

Ross Houston
June 12, 2019

Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi is the world's highest paid athlete, earning $127m (£99.8m) in the past 12 months, according to the Forbes top 100 ranking.

This year's top earner from the sport of boxing, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, earned just $2 million in endorsements, but his $92 million in salary/winnings matched those of Messi to place him fourth in the list.

The rankings is based on overall earnings which includes salaries, winnings from respective sports and endorsement deals all amassed over the period between June 2018 to June 2019.


Athletes from 10 sports made the top 100, with National Basketball Association stars leading the way.

There were no women in last year's list.

In the "top 10" of the classification are also football players Russell Wilson (79 million euros) and Aaron Rodgers (78.8 million euros), and NBA basketball players LeBron James (78.6 million euros), Stephen Curry (70.4 million euros) and Kevin Durant (57.7 million euros).


Five-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and former heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua are the highest earning British athletes, sitting at 13th on $55m (£43.2m). The United Kingdom has five athletes, France and Spain have three, while Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Serbia and Venezuela all have two.

"But basketball players continue to dominate the top 100 overall, with 35 athletes on the list earning a total of $US1.29 billion, with 72 per cent of that income coming from salaries rather than endorsement deals".

It is the first time that a trio of footballers have ranked as the top three earners, while Messi becomes only the second footballer to top the rankings after Ronaldo.


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