Virat Kohli only Indian in Forbes’ 100 highest-paid athletes list

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Lead Forbes Highest Paid Athlete List

Football superstars Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar ranked No.1, 2 and 3 respectively, earning more than NZ$151.8 million over the year.

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has been named by Forbes magazine as the highest-earning athlete over the past year.

Forbes calculates the athletes' earnings by adding up their prize money, salaries and endorsements between June 2018 and June 2019.

The American boxer's only fight since August 2017 was an exhibition boxing bout against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in December.

And Messi was named the highest paid athlete for the first time, moving one position from previous year thanks to a staggering earnings of $127m (R1.87bn).

Messi was one of 38 non-American athletes on the list, with 62 USA stars in the top 100.


Messi is one of 38 non-American athletes on the list, with 62 USA stars in the top 100.

Speaking to Forbes, Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor of Forbes Media, said: "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". The NBA accounted for the most athletes with 35.

Manchester United's Paul Pogba is the highest earning Premier League player in 44th place with $33m (£25.9m).

Canelo Alvarez (Boxer) $142 million 5.

The Brazil worldwide and Paris Saint-Germain superstar pocketed a total of $105 million (R1.54 billion) overall, with $75 million (R1.1 billion) being garnered in salary earnings, plus a further $30 million (R440 million) from endorsements with DAZN, Beats Electronics, Electronic Arts, Gillette, Mastercard, McDonald's, Nike, Red Bull and TCL. Russell Wilson (NFL player) $135 million 7.

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