Published: Wed, June 12, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Messi leads Forbes' annual list of highest-paid athletes

Messi leads Forbes' annual list of highest-paid athletes

Lionel Messi has been named as the world's highest paid athlete over the last 12 months, ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, in the Forbes top 100 list.

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.

In terms of sponsorship, Ronaldo earns more than Messi and Neymar, taking home 38 million Euros a year from deals with sponsors.

The American boxer's only fight since August 2017 was an exhibition boxing bout against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in December. Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta is next footballer on the list (46th overall), having earned $32.5 million.

Messi was one of 38 non-American athletes on the list, with 62 United States stars in the top 100.

Speaking to Forbes, Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor of Forbes Media, said: "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".

National Basketball Association star suing Nike over allegations of 'fraud'
Leonard and the Raptors will face the Warriors for Game 3 of the Finals at Oakland's Oracle Arena on Wednesday night. In the lawsuit, Leonard claims he traced his hand and drew his initials inside, along with his jersey number, 2.


On Tuesday American business magazine Forbes released its annual ranking of the World's 100 Highest-Paid athletes, who collectively earned $4 billion (R59bn). The NBA accounted for the most athletes with 35.

Messi is one of 38 non-American athletes on the list, with 62 U.S. stars in the top 100.

Boxer Canelo Alvarez is fourth on the list, thanks to his new deal with DAZN.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was the highest earning National Basketball Association player, with $89 million, while Golden State's Stephen Curry was ninth with $79.8 million.

The man in fifth, tennis star Roger Federer, had a vastly different pay split.

Thirty-five of their players featured (down from 40 last year), headed by LeBron James at $US89 million.

Like this: