Lionel Messi, world's highest-paid footballer, earns R2 billion a year

Lionel Messi, world's highest-paid footballer, earns R2 billion a year

- Football France has ranked Lionel Messi the world's best paid footballer

- The Barcelona ace currently earns over R2 billion (€130 million) a year

- Ronaldo and Neymar rank second and third respectively

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It is without doubt that Lione Messi is one of the most talented and decorated football players in the world.

His heroics on the pitch has seen him win various individual awards, including the prestigious Ballon d'Or award that he has won a record five times.

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In 2017, the star forward penned a new lucrative deal with Barcelona that will keep him at the Catalan side until 2021.

The new deal also translated to an increment in his wages at the club that places him among the best-paid footballers globally.

According to figures collated by France Football, Messi was ranked the highest paid player in the world, with the 31-year-old currently earning a staggering R2 billion per year.

Cristiano Ronaldo emerged second in the list, earning R269 million less than his arch-rival despite signing an improved deal with Juventus last summer.

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Neymar, who is currently the most expensive player following his £198 million move to PSG, was placed third, with Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann and Gareth Bale completing the top five.

Manchester United's Alexis Sanchez was the only Premier League player who made the top 10 list, ranking seventh globally.

Here is the full list:

1. Messi €130M

2. Ronaldo €113M

3. Neymar €91.5M

4. Griezmann €44M

5. Gareth Bale €40.2M

6. Iniesta €33M

7. Alexis Sánchez €30.7M

8. Coutinho €30M

9. Lavezzi €28.3M

10. Luis Suárez €28M

11. Piqué €27M

12. Toni Kroos €26.3M

13. Özil €25.8M

14. Mbappé €25M

15. Oscar (Shanghai) €24.3M

16. Agüero €24.3M

17. De Bruyne €23.5M

18. Hulk (Shanghai) €23.4M

19. Paul Pogba €23.3M

20. Sergio Ramos €23M

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