Ronaldo 2nd highest paid sportsman in the world

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Lead Forbes Highest Paid Athlete List

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Lead Forbes Highest Paid Athlete List

Lionel Messi has claimed the top spot on Forbes' annual list of the highest-paid athletes in the world.

While the Argentine earned a total of $127 million, which includes $92 million in salary and $35 million in endorsements, Ronaldo finished second with earnings worth $109 million ($65 million in salary + $44 million in endorsements). Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta is next footballer on the list (46th overall), having earned $32.5 million. The Brazil worldwide took in $75m in salary, which was $10m more than Ronaldo, while Messi's income of $92m dwarfed both.

Mayweather, who only had an exhibition bout on December 31 in Japan, went from being the top earner on the 2018 list, due to his 2017 mega-fight with Conor McGregor, from not being on the list at all.

"The global impact of soccer is clearly reflected in earnings in 2019, with the top three athletes on the list being Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar", Badenhausen said on the official website.

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

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

Stars from the National Football League and NBA rounded out the top 10 on the list, with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson sixth on $89.5 million, just ahead of Green Bay Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers ($89.3 million).

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