Lionel Messi Is Officially the World’s Highest Paid Athlete

Canelo Alvarez, Aaron Rodgers and LeBron James are also among 2019’s top-earning sports stars.

Canelo Alvarez Lionel Messi Aaron Rodgers Promo
Left: Getty Images

Lionel Messi has topped Forbes’ annual list of the World’s 100 Highest-Paid Athletes for the first time. 

The Argentine soccer superstar dethroned retired boxer Floyd Mayweather, who topped the rankings last year, with $127 million in total earnings. 

Longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo and fellow footballer Neymar Jr. took the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, raking in $109 million and $105 million. Boxing champ Canelo Alvarez and record-setting tennis star Roger Federer round out the top 5 with $94 million and $93.4 million in earnings. 

While soccer players took the top three positions, athletes like Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and self-proclaimed NBA GOAT LeBron James helped other sports dominate the rest of the 100.

Forbes reports: 

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.

The final figures include prize money, salaries and bonuses earned between June 1, 2018 and June 1, 2019. 

See the top 10 highest-paid athletes below: 

10. Kevin Durant – $65.4 million

9. Steph Curry – $79.8 million

8. LeBron James – $89 million

7. Aaron Rodgers – $89.3 million

6. Russell Wilson – $89.5 million

5. Roger Federer – $93.4 million

4. Canelo Alvarez – $94 million

3. Neymar – $105 million

2. Cristiano Ronaldo – $109 million

1. Lionel Messi – $127 million