EUR 96.3 million per year. Only Messi beats Ronaldo among the highest paid sportsmen in the world – The Economic Journal

Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo was the second highest paid sportsman in the world between June 2018 and June 2019, with 96.3 million euros, in a list led by Lionel Messi.

According to the annual ranking published by Forbes magazine, Messi is for the first time the highest place on the podium, with a yield of 112.2 million euros, 81.2 ME in wages and prizes and 31 ME in sponsorship.

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 annual incomes in the order of 92.7 million euros.

Since the creation, 19 years ago, of this Forbes' ranking, only four athletes ranked first: Tiger Woods 12-time boxer Floyd Mayweather four times Cristiano Ronaldo twice and now Messi.

The Argentine succeeds Mayweather in the proceeds of 2018, when the boxer put in 243 million euros in the fight against mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor, held in August 2017.

On the list this year, the three footballers are followed by Mexican boxer Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, with gains in the order of 83 million euros, and Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, with a revenue of 82.5 ME.

In the 'top 10' of the classification are also football players Russell Wilson (79 ME) and Aaron Rodgers (78.8 ME), and NBA basketball players LeBron James (78.6 ME), Stephen Curry (70.4 ME) and Kevin Durant (57.7 ME).

Among female athletes, the only one to emerge in the standings is the US tennis player Serena Williams, with 25.7 million euros per year and a distant 63rd among the 100 published.

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