Lionel Messi was denied a move away from Barcelona this summer
Lionel Messi has again beaten Cristiano Ronaldo to top the list of the world’s richest footballers.
In the annual list published by Forbes magazine, Messi – who was denied what would have been a highly lucrative transfer away from Barcelona earlier this summer – came out on top with total earnings of $126m (£98m), split between $92m (£71.6m) in salary and $34m (£26.4m) in endorsements.
Ronaldo came in second with earnings of $117m (£91m) combined with his status as the most followed footballer in the world on social media.
In what was a repeat of 2019’s top three, Neymar came in third on the Forbes list ($96m, £74.7m) with his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate, 21-year-old Kylian Mbappe, in fourth spot ($42m, £32.6m).
Only three Premier League players feature in the top 10 of the wealth table – Liverpool’s title-winning striker Mohamed Salah in fifth ($37m, £28.8m) and Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba ($34m, £26.4m) in sixth. Pogba’s team-mate, keeper David de Gea ($27m, £21m) is 10th.
Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann was seventh and Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale eighth. Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, the only Bundesliga player, was ninth.