Lionel Messi Beats Ronaldo, Neymar, Lebron James As World’s Best Player (Photo)

Lionel Messi has beaten Cristiano Ronaldo to be crowned the world’s best paid athlete.
The

Barcelona star took home £99.8million from salary and endorsements over

the past 12 months, £14m more than Juventus talisman Ronaldo.

The

world’s most expensive ever footballer, Neymar, completes the top three

as footballers dominate the podium spots of Forbes’ list of the 100

highest paid athletes.

Messi leapfrogged Floyd Mayweather, who

held the crown last year after his lucrative bout with Conor McGregor

ensured he would lead the way for the fourth time in seven years.
‘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,’

said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor, Forbes Media.
‘But basketball

players continue to dominate the top 100 overall with 35 athletes on the

list earning a total of $1.29 billion (£1.01bn), with 72 per cent of

that income coming from salaries rather than endorsement deals.’

Basketball

dominates the overall top 100 with 35 athletes making the cut, which

has reached its highest entry requirement ever at $25m (£19.6m).

The

UK has the most athletes in the list of any country other than the

United States, with five in total. Lewis Hamilton placed 13th – tied

with Anthony Joshua, Rory McIlroy 32nd, Justin Rose 47th and Gareth Bale

79th.

Hamilton and Joshua both took home £43.2m ($55m), while McIlroy landed £30.7m ($39m).
Serena Williams made a welcome return to the overall top 100, placing 63rd after no women featured on the list last year.

The full list of the top 100 athletes can be found here.

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