TORONTO (Barrio) – Lionel Messi was the world’s highest-paid athlete over the last year, according to the annual Forbes list released on Wednesday that had the Paris Saint-Germain forward ahead of the NBA’s LeBron James and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
With $130 million in pre-tax gross earnings over the last 12 months, Messi claims the top spot in Forbes’ annual ranking of the world’s highest-paid athletes, leading the list for the second time (the other was in 2019). Although Forbes estimates that Messi’s salary is down some $22 million from his final year with Barcelona—to $75 million this season at PSG—a major boost in endorsements helps him equal the record 12-month total for a soccer player he posted last year, when he finished No. 2 to MMA fighter Conor McGregor.
In March, Messi signed a deal worth $20 million annually with Socios, a “fan engagement” app built on blockchain technology, and earlier this week, he signed a deal with Saudi Arabia, making him an ambassador for tourism.
Rounding the 10 ten are the following athletes;
- Lionel Messi – $130 million
- LeBron James – $121.2 million
- Cristiano Ronaldo – $115 million
- Neymar – $95 million
- Stephen Curry – $92.8 million
- Kevin Durant – $92.1 million
- Roger Federer – $90.7 million
- Canelo Alvarez – $90 million
- Tom Brady – $83.9 million
- Giannis Antetokounmpo – $80.9 million