Messi and Ronaldo top Forbes Highest Paid Athlete List

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring during the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Manchester United

Messi's longtime rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, ranks No. 2 with $109 million in total earnings.

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has been named by Forbes magazine as the highest-earning athlete over the past year.

Boxer Canelo Alvarez is fourth on the list, thanks to his new deal with DAZN.

Serena Williams is the only woman in the top 100, earning $29.2m (£22.9m).

The rankings is based on overall earnings which includes salaries, winnings from respective sports and endorsement deals all amassed over the period between June 2018 to June 2019.

Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton and boxer Anthony Joshua (both at $US55 million) were the highest-earning British athletes.

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His only fight since August 2017 was an exhibition boxing bout against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in December.

Ranked 83rd on last year's list, Kohli has climbed down to the 100th spot despite an increase of Dollars 1m in endorsements. He earned $7.4 million in salary/winnings, but picked up a colossal $86 million in endorsements, the most of any athlete on the list.

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

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.

It is the first time that a trio of footballers have ranked as the top three earners, while Messi becomes only the second footballer to top the rankings after Ronaldo.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was the highest earning National Basketball Association player, with $89 million, while Golden State's Stephen Curry was ninth with $79.8 million.

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