Messi named world’s highest paid athlete ahead of Ronaldo & Neymar

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has been named as the world’s highest paid athlete over the last one year, ahead of Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, in the Forbes top 100 list.

The Barcelona and Argentina star earned $127m in the last year – more than Juventus forward Ronaldo ($109m) in second place and Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar ($105m) in third.

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

The next footballer on the list is Paul Pogba in 44th place, who is the highest earning player in the Premier League with $33m.

Former Barca midfielder Andres Iniesta (46th), who now plays in Japan with Vissel Kobe, is the only other player to be found in the top 50, with earnings of $32.5m

Outside of the top 50, Manchester United’s forward Alexis Sanchez can be found at 53, with earnings of $30.8m for the past one year, ahead of Kylian Mbappe in 55th ($30.6m) and Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil in 57th ($30.2m).

After his move to Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG in 2017, Brazilian midfielder Oscar comes is on number 66, with his earning standing at $29m.

Mohamed Salah also makes the cut with a total of $25.1m, with the Egyptian notching 98th place.

Last year’s highest earner, boxer Floyd Mayweather, has already failed to make the list, while Serena Williams is the only woman in the top 100.

Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton and former heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua are the highest earning British athletes, while number one Messi is one of 38 non-American athletes on the list, with 62 Americans in the top 100.

The NBA accounted for the most athletes with 35, with LA Lakers’ LeBron James the sport’s highest paid athlete in 8th on $89m ahead of Golden State Warriors pair Stephen Curry (9th on $79.8m) and Kevin Durant (10th on $65.4m).

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