Lionel Messi is the highest earning sportsman in the world, according to Forbes, AFP reported on Tuesday, June 11th, on their annual sports rich list. The Barcelona striker finished second behind Floyd Mayweather last year but has now overtaken the retired boxer. The Argentinian managed to collect an incredible $127m via salary and endorsement deals.
Messi’s rival Cristiano Ronaldo finished second in the list; the Juventus star managed to acquire $109m in the past year. While Messi’s former teammate Neymar was not far behind as the Paris Saint-Germain star finished third with $105. Football completed a clean sweep of the top three positions for the first time since the beginning of annual list.
Mexican boxer and unified middleweight world champion Saul Canelo Alvarez finished fourth with $94m. The 28-year-old outpointed Gennady Golovkin in a close contested fight in September 2018 to unify his titles. He recently signed a lucrative five-year 11 fight contract with US streaming company DAZN. The deal is said to be worth $365 million.
Tennis legend Rodger Federer came fifth with $93.4m. The Swiss star’s salary was not as high as his counterparts, but he raked up a stunning $86m in endorsement deals to shoot himself up the list.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who finished seventh, was the highest earning NFL star with $89.5, while Green Bay Packers’ signal-caller Aaron Rodgers was not far behind with $89.3.
Los Angeles Lakers star Lebron James was unsurprisingly the highest earning NBA player with $89m. While Golden State’s point guard Steph Curry finished ninth with $79m. Curry’s Golden State teammate Kevin Durant completed the top ten list with earnings of $65.4.
Tiger Woods who was the highest earner in 2013 finished 11th this time with $69.4. Serena Williams was the only woman to make the top 100 as the tennis star finished 63rd with $29.2m.