- Messi raked in a staggering $127 million as of July 2019 to top latest Forbes list of highest paid athletes
- Ronaldo was ranked second in the list, with Neymar Jr completing the top three list
- Canelo Alvarez, Roger Federer and Russell Wilson are the other sportspersons who made the list
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has emerged the highest paid athlete in the world after raking in a staggering $127 million in 2019.
The Argentine now becomes only the second footballer to top the list, after Cristiano Ronaldo becoming the first soccer star to make the top of the list three years ago, with the Juve forward reclaiming the spot in 2017.
In the latest listing released on Tuesday, July 9, by Forbes, Ronaldo was ranked second by Messi, with Neymar Jr completing the top three list despite enduring a mixed season with PSG.
Messi's eye-watering contract at Barcelona that he signed in 2018 and his lucrative lifetime sponsorship deal with Adidas are some of the financial avenues that earned him a place in the high table.
Only Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar Jr were the only footballers in Forbes' top 100, with Mexican boxer Canelo Álvarez joining them in the top 10 list dominated by entertainers.
Meanwhile, despite Messi's mouthwatering earnings, the American business magazine ranked the five-time Ballon d'Or winner the fourth-highest paid entertainer.
PAY ATTENTION: Install Pitch Football app for FREE to easily access stats, news and live updates
Musician Taylor Swift leads the charts after reportedly making an insane $185 million in the year under review.
American media personality and model Kylie Jenner is second, with hip hop maestro Kanye West finishing third above Messi.
Perfect hit-maker Ed Sheeran was placed fifth above Ronaldo, with Neymar coming in at seventh.
Here's the top 10 list in full:
1. Taylor Swift ($185 M)
2. Kylie Jenner ($170 M)
3. Kanye West ($150 M)
4. Lionel Messi ($127 M)
5. Ed Sheeran ($110 M)
6. Cristiano Ronaldo ($109 M)
7. Neymar ($105 M)
8. The Eagles ($100 M)
9. Dr. Phil McGraw ($95 M)
10. 'Canelo' Alvarez ($94 M)
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!