Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Lead Forbes Highest Paid Athlete List

Reports Lionel Messi asks Barcelona to target UCL winner as replacement for unsettled defender

Lionel Messi has topped Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid athletes as soccer players dominated the podium in 2019.

The top 100 spans 10 sports and includes athletes from 25 countries with their $4 billion in combined earnings from prize money, salaries and endorsements up 5% from a year ago, when Floyd Mayweather was first with $285 million.

The American business magazine calculated the athletes' earnings by adding up their prizemoney, salaries and endorsements between June 2018 and June 2019.

Also for the first time, the podium belongs exclusively to footballers, with Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo being accompanied by the Brazilian Neymar, with the Paris Saint-Germain player having an annual income in the order of 92.7 million euros.

The fourth highest earner on the list was Mexico's middleweight boxing star Saul "Canelo" Alvarez with $94m.

Tennis star Serena Williams was the only woman to feature, coming in 63rd.

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Kohli is last on the list of top-100 athletes, headed by Barcelona and Argentina football superstar Lionel Messi, announced on Tuesday.

Messi was one of 38 non-American athletes on the list, with 62 United States stars in the top 100.

Last year, Adams was ranked No.86 on the top 100 list. Russell Wilson (NFL player) $135 million 7.

Messi, who scored 36 goals while leading Barcelona to the La Liga title this year, earned $127 million (£100 million) between his salary and endorsements to move up one spot on the list of the world's 100 highest-paid athletes.

Stars from the National Football League and NBA rounded out the top 10 on the list, with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson sixth on $89.5m, just ahead of Green Bay Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers ($89.3m).

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