World’s Highest Paid Athlete, See Who Topped The List Between Messi And Ronaldo

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Lionel Messi has been named the world’s highest paid athlete for the first time , up from second place last year , with $127 million in total earnings.

Messi unseats Floyd Mayweather , who held the crown last year , and was the leader four times in seven years.

Behind Messi is longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo (No. 2) , who earned $109 million between his salary and endorsements. Serena Williams (No. 63) returned to the ranking , after no women appeared in 2018.

Cost of admission to the 2019 list is the highest ever at $25 million , up $2.1 million from the previous year. Endorsement income experienced an increase of 12.5% to $987 million this year.

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“The global impact of soccer is clearly reflected in earnings in 2019 , with the top three athletes on the list being Messi , Ronaldo , and Neymar.

But basketball players continue to dominate the top 100 overall with 35 athletes on the list earning a total of $1.29 billion , with 72% of that income coming from salaries rather than endorsement deals.” said Kurt Badenhausen , senior editor , Forbes Media.

The list of elite athletes consists of players from ten different sports. NBA stars lead with 35 basketball players among the top 100 , down from 40 in 2018 , headed by LeBron James (No. 8 with $89 million).

Football was the next most-represented sport with 19 players , followed by baseball with 15 , and soccer with 12.

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