For the second successive year, Lionel Messi sits above arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo in Forbes' latest rich list, ranking as the best-earning footballer across the globe.
Tired of reading? Click through the mini-gallery above to see the three highest-paid footballers in 2019, according to Forbes.
Forbes Magazine recently released their annual list of the top 100 highest-paid athletes in the world, and it contains stars from different 10 sports and athletes from 25 different countries.
The list, which has been published annually since 1990, was created by the well-known American business magazine and takes into account endorsements, money and salaries garnered by athletes between the period of June 2018 and June 2019 to get an accurate reading for the ranking.
For the first time ever, FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi occupies top position at the summit of the world's 10 highest-paid athletes ranking after replacing boxer Floyd Mayweather, who occupied top position last year and four times in the past seven years.
The Argentine's annual salary, including bonus payments, is said to be $92 million (R1.35 billion), while he also amassed an extra $35 million (R515 million) from endorsement deals with the likes of adidas, Gatorade, Huawei, MasterCard and Pepsi to take his overall income to $127 million (R1.86 billion).
Second to Messi is arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who ranks among the top three highest-paid athletes for the seventh successive year after receiving $109 million (R1.6 billion) over the past year.
The Juventus superstar, who recently clinched the inaugural UEFA Nations League title with Portugal, amassed $65 million (R956 million) in salary earnings, while racking up a further $44 million (R646 million) from endorsement deals with the likes of Herbalife, Altice, DAZN, MTG, Electronic Arts and Nike.
Neymar is the third footballer in the top 10, and ranks in at third position overall on the ranking of the highest-paid athletes.
The Brazil international 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.
All figures include basic salaries, bonus payments and endorsement deals. Earnings listed are for the period 1 June 2018 to 1 June 2019.
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