Lionel Messi was named the highest paid athlete in the world, earning less than half of the best last year.
Argentine professional footballer today (11 June) took first place, never before winning, despite the second place last year.
Messi replaces Floyd Mayweather, who was named the richest sports star last year and has been a winner four times in seven years.
This news came after Forbes published its annual ranking of the world’s 100 highest paid athletes, who collectively earned $ 4 billion over the past 12 months. This is five percent higher than last year’s profit of $ 3.8 billion.
Messi himself boasts $ 127 million in total earnings, while runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi’s longtime rival, earned $ 109 million between his salary and approvals.
In fact, each of the top three this year was footballers; Brazil striker and PSG Neymar finished third, earning a total of $ 105 million over the past 12 months. Does anybody want to give me a spare mill, guys?
Kurt Badenhausen, the senior editor at Forbes Media, noted the three focused on football, saying that “football’s global influence is clearly reflected in revenues in 2019, with the top three Football athletes on the list being Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar.”
But basketball players still dominate the top 100: the list of 35 athletes who earned a total of $ 1.29 billion, with 72% of that income comes from salaries, not endorsements.
The list of athletes includes players from ten different sports, with NBA stars in the lead, with more than a third of the list being basketball players (35) led by LeBron James at number eight.
American football was the next most represented sport with 19 players, while baseball had 15 and football had 12.
Interestingly, despite Messi taking the lead this year, he earned $ 158 million less than last year’s winner Floyd Mayweather.
What for? Because the boxer won a huge $ 275 thanks to his fight with Conor McGregor in 2017, which prepared him for the rest of the year.
However, now it seems that “Money” does not match his nickname, as he did not quite hit the top 100 this year.
Other famous athletes on the elite list were Serena Williams, who appeared at number 63 after there were no women last year, Roger Federer and Anthony Joshua.