Lionel Messi edges out Cristiano Ronaldo to head Forbes top 100 highest paid athletes after earning £99.8m in the past 12-months

American business magazine, Forbes has released its annual ranking of the World’s 100 Highest-Paid athletes, who collectively earned $4 billion over the last 12 months, up 5% from last year’s earnings of $3.8 billion.

Top on the list is Lionel Messi, who is crowned the world's best paid athlete ahead of his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Argentine and Barcelona star took home £99.8million from salary and endorsements over the past 12 months, while Juventus striker Ronaldo, who is second on the list earned  £85.7m million between his salary and endorsements. 

The world's most expensive ever footballer and PSG star Neymar completes the top three after ranking in £82.5m 

Check out the list of the World’s Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes in 2019 below.

Rank    Athlete              Sport    Salary/Winnings £ ($)    Endorsements  £ ($)    Total Earnings £ ($)

1    Lionel Messi               Soccer    72.3m (92m)    27.5m (35m)    99.8m (127m) 

2    Cristiano Ronaldo    Soccer    51.1m (65m)    34.6m (44m)    85.7m (109m)

3    Neymar                        Soccer    58.9m (75m)    23.6m (30m)    82.5m (105m)

4    Canelo Alvarez        Boxing    72.3m (92m)    1.6m (2m)    73.9m (94m)

5    Roger Federer          Tennis    5.8m (7.4m)    67.6m (86m)    73.4m (93.4m)

6    Russell Wilson       Football    63.2m (80.5m)    7m (9m)    70.3m (89.5m)

7    Aaron Rodgers       Football    63.1m (80.3m)    7m (9m)    70.2m (89.3m)

8    LeBron James     Basketball    28.3m (36m)    41.7m (53m)    70m (89m)

9    Stephen Curry    Basketball    29.7m (37.8m)    33m (42m)    62.7m (79.8)

10    Kevin Durant    Basketball    23.9m (30.4m)    27.5m (35m)    51.4m (65.4m)

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