Forbes Announces 2019 World’s Highest-Paid Athletes Lists

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi raked in $127 million dollars this past year in a combination of his salary and endorsements, making him the richest athlete on planet earth.

Forbes released their annual list of the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes today, revealing Messi as just the eighth athlete to snag the top spot since Forbes started tracking athlete earnings in 1990.

The Top 3 consists entirely of soccer superstars with Messi leading the way, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo ($109M) and Neymar Jr. ($105M). Rounding out the Top 5 richest athletes is Canelo Alvarez, who punched his way to $94 million, and Rodger Federer with $93.4M.

Although the international soccers stars accounted for the three highest earnings, Forbes reports that more than half of the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes play in either the NBA or NFL. This includes Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers, as well as LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant – all of whom ranked within the Top 10.

Anyone who made less than $25 million (compared with $17.3 million five years ago) simply didn’t earn enough to make the Top 100 cut. 

The Top 10 list of the richest athletes is as follows, according to Forbes:

1. Lionel Messi, soccer: $127m

2. Cristiano Ronaldo, soccer: $109m

3. Neymar, soccer: $105m

4. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, boxer: $94m

5. Roger Federer, tennis: $93.4m

6. Russell Wilson, football: $89.5m

7. Aaron Rodgers, football: $89.3m

8. LeBron James, basketball: $89m

9. Stephen Curry, basketball: $79.8m

10. Kevin Durant, basketball: $65.4m

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