Published: Wed, June 12, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi highest earning athlete on $192 million

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi highest earning athlete on $192 million

Second to Messi is arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who ranks among the top three highest-paid athletes for the seventh successive year after receiving $109 million (R1.6 billion) over the past year.

Argentina and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi is reported to be the world's highest paid athlete, raking in NZ$192 million over the past 12 months according to the Forbes top 100 ranking.

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.

Meanwhile, Messi has dethroned retired boxer Floyd Mayweather as the sports world's highest earner, raking in United States dollars 127 million via salary and endorsement deals.

Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain striker Neymar completed a sweep of the top three positions by footballers, coming in third with earnings of $105m.


Last year's highest earner, boxer Floyd Mayweather, has dropped off the list.

Athletes had to earn a minimum of $37.7 million to make this year's list. Conor McGregor ($99m) had finished fourth.

There were no women in last year's list.

The Brazil worldwide and Paris Saint-Germain superstar pocketed a total of $105 million (R1.54 billion) overall, with $75 million (R1.1 billion) being garnered in salary earnings, plus a further $30 million (R440 million) from endorsements with DAZN, Beats Electronics, Electronic Arts, Gillette, Mastercard, McDonald's, Nike, Red Bull and TCL.

Rounding out the top 10 are Neymar ($105 million), Canelo Alvarez ($94 million), Roger Federer ($93.4 million), Russell Wilson ($89.5 million), Aaron Rodgers ($89.3 million), LeBron James ($89 million), Stephen Curry ($79.8 million), and Kevin Durant ($65.4 million).

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