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.

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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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