Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi highest earning athlete on $192 million

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring during the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Manchester United

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has been named the world's highest-paid athlete for the first time, earning $US127 million ($182 million) in the past year. Athletes had to earn a minimum of $25m to make this year's list.

A handful of others with MI connections also made the 100-person list, which Forbes said is based on prize money, salaries and endorsements between June 2018 and June 2019.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was the highest earning National Basketball Association player, with $89 million, while Golden State's Stephen Curry was ninth with $79.8 million.

American tennis player Serena Williams is the only woman in the top 100, earning $44 million. For this year's list, soccer star Lionel Messi takes the top spot with Money Mayweather falling off the entire top 100 listings altogether.


His only fight since August 2017 was an exhibition boxing bout against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in December. While this is not his first time on the list- he was ranked both last year and in2017 - his average salary of $30.7 million a year, and his $950K in endorsements, earned him a spot this year yet again. Messi is one of 38 non-American athletes on the list, with 62 USA stars in the top 100.

Stars from the National Football League and NBA rounded out the top 10 on the list, with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson sixth on $89.5 million, just ahead of Green Bay Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers ($US89.3 million).

The Barcelona and Argentina star earned $127m in the previous year - more than Juventus forward Ronaldo ($109m) in second place and Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar ($105m) in third.

Meanwhile, "Canelo" Alvarez and Roger Federer complete the top five. Cristiano Ronaldo $109m (Footballer, Juventus, Portugal) 3. The Portuguese footballer stands second behind his counterpart with an earning of Dollars 109 million.

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