Lionel Messi claims number 1 man on Forbes’ 2019 list of the World’s 100 highest-paid Athletes

SAN JUAN, ARGENTINA - JUNE 07: Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates with the trophy after a friendly match between Argentina and Nicaragua at Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario on June 7, 2019 in San Juan, Argentina. (Photo by Gustavo Garello/Jam Media/Getty Images)

Forbes yesterday released its annual ranking of the World’s 100 Highest-Paid athletes, who collectively earned $4 billion over the last 12 months, up 5% from last year’s earnings of $3.8 billion.

Lionel Messi was 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.

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