With $127m in earnings, Messi tops list of highest paid athletes

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Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is the world’s highest paid athlete on earth; earning $127million in the past 12 months, according to report published by Forbes top 100 ranking.

The American business magazine calculated the athletes’ earnings, which combines prize money, salaries and endorsements between June 2018 and June 2019. The top 100 earners made a combined $4 billion, with athletes spanning 10 sports and coming from 25 different countries.

Juventus’s Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo is second on $109million while Paris Saint Germain’s (PSG) Brazil forward Neymar is third on $105m.

2018 highest earner, American boxer, Floyd Mayweather, dropped off on the list, while American female tennis star, Serena Williams is the only woman in the top 100, earning $29.2million.

Also, Formula 1 world champion, Lewis Hamilton, and former Nigerian born British heavyweight world champion, Anthony Joshua, are the highest earning British athletes, sitting at 13th on $55million.

The top 100 includes athletes from 25 countries and their $4bn combined earnings are up 5% from the previous year, when Mayweather was first with $285million .

Athletes had to earn a minimum of $25million to make this year’s list.

Messi is only the second footballer to top the rankings after Ronaldo, and only the eighth different athlete to take the number one spot since the rankings began in 1990.

Despite heading the Forbes list, Messi has endured a mixed season at the Catalan club.

The Barcelona captain inspired his side to the LaLiga title but suffered humiliation as Liverpool overturned a 3-0 deficit to knock the Spanish side out of the Champions League. Barcelona were also surprisingly beaten by Valencia in the Spanish Cup final.

Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar completes the top three earners, picking up $105 million.

It is also the first time that …