Ronaldo 2nd highest paid sportsman in the world

Lionel Messi

Forbes calculates the athletes' earnings by adding up their prize money, salaries and endorsements between June 2018 and June 2019.

Messi made $127 million past year, followed by Ronaldo's $109 million while Neymar trailed just behind the Portuguese superstar with $105 million.

Canelo Alvarez (Boxer) $142 million 5.

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

And Messi was named the highest paid athlete for the first time, moving one position from past year thanks to a staggering earnings of $127m (R1.87bn).

On Tuesday American business magazine Forbes released its annual ranking of the World's 100 Highest-Paid athletes, who collectively earned $4 billion (R59bn).

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To make the top 100, athletes had to earn a minimum of $US25 million.

Overall, the top athletes were from 25 countries - up from 22 past year.

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.

Five-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and former heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua are the highest earning British athletes, sitting at 13th on $55m (£43.2m).

While the Argentine earned a total of $127 million, which includes $92 million in salary and $35 million in endorsements, Ronaldo finished second with earnings worth $109 million ($65 million in salary + $44 million in endorsements). The United Kingdom has five athletes, France and Spain have three, while Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Serbia and Venezuela all have two.

Speaking to Forbes, Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor of Forbes Media, said: "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".

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