Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo Top Forbes' 2019 Highest-Paid Athlete List

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2019

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the Champions League semifinal, first leg, soccer match between FC Barcelona and Liverpool at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi tops Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid athletes from the past year, taking in a cool $127 million between his salary and earnings ($92 million) and endorsements ($35 million).

He is followed by: 

  • Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo ($109 million)
  • Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar ($105 million)
  • Boxer Canelo Alvarez ($94 million)
  • Tennis superstar Roger Federer ($93.4 million)
  • Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson ($89.5 million )
  • Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers ($89.3 million)
  • Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James ($89 million)
  • Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry ($79.8 million)
  • Warriors forward Kevin Durant ($65.4 million).

Newcomers to the top 100 this year include Chicago Bears edge-rusher Khalil Mack ($55 million), Dallas Cowboys edge-rusher Demarcus Lawrence ($46.9 million), Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper ($44.5 million), Los Angeles Rams wrecking ball Aaron Donald ($41.4 million) and Rams wideout Brandin Cooks ($38 million). 

The NBA leads all professional leagues with 35 players in the top 100. Sixty-two are United States-based athletes, with the NBA and NFL combining for over half the list alone.

Tiger Woods ($63.9 million)—who has topped the list a record 12 times—just missed out on the top 10, finishing 11th overall. Tennis legend Serena Williams ($29.2 million) is the only woman who makes an appearance, coming in at No. 63. Cricket star Virat Kohli ($25 million) is the lone player from his sport, rounding it out at No. 100.

Lewis Hamilton ($55 million) is the top race-car driver at No. 13, while Conor McGregor ($47 million) is first among MMA fighters and 21st overall. Mike Trout ($50.6 million) is the top MLB player on the list and 17th overall. 

No NHL players are in the top 100.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.