Messi beats Ronaldo in 2019 Forbes rich list

Lionel Messi has topped Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes as soccer players dominated the podium in 2019.

The Barcelona forward earned $127 million this past year in a combination of his salary and endorsements — $18 million more than second-place Cristiano Ronaldo, who pocketed a total of $109m.

Neymar was the third-highest on the list, having earned $105m this past year. The Brazil international took in $75m in salary, which was $10m more than Ronaldo, while Messi’s income of $92m dwarfed both.

Messi saw his earnings increase by $16m over the past 12 months. The $111m he made in 2018 saw him finish second to Floyd Mayweather ($285m). Ronaldo ($108m) was third with Neymar ($90m) in fifth. Conor McGregor ($99m) had finished fourth.

Boxer Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was the highest-earning non-footballer on the 2019 list, with $94m in total — just $2m of which came through endorsements, meaning he had the same salary as Messi.

Tennis player Roger Federer was the fifth highest-earner, at $93.4m. He was No. 1 in terms of endorsements, though, with $86m.

Football stars Russell Wilson ($89.5m) and Aaron Rodgers ($89.3m) were sixth and seventh, respectively, on the list, as three NBA players came in next.

LeBron James earned $89m in total with Stephen Curry having made $79.8m and Kevin Durant $65.4m.

Top-10 highest-paid athletes of 2019

1. Lionel Messi, soccer: $127m

However, the Juventus forward made $44m in endorsements, which was higher than Messi’s $35m and Neymar’s $30m.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo, soccer: $109m

3. Neymar, soccer: $105m

4. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, boxer: $94m

5. Roger Federer, tennis: $93.4m

6. Russell Wilson, football: $89.5m

7. Aaron Rodgers, football: $89.3m

8. LeBron James, basketball: $89m

9. Stephen Curry, basketball: $79.8m

10. Kevin Durant, basketball: $65.4m

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