Messi pips Cristiano to top Forbes money list in 2020

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Barcelona super star Lionel Messi has topped the Forbes list for highest-earning footballers in 2020.

Forbes estimated Messi’s yearly earnings at $126m (£97.2m) with Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo second on $117m (£90.3m).

Neymar was in third with Paris St-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe fourth.

Three Premier League players – Mohamed Salah, Paul Pogba and David de Gea – made the top 10, as did Real Madrid and Wales forward Gareth Bale.

Welshman Bale came eighth in the list at $29m (£22.4m) despite a disappointing 2019-20 season, on a personal level, which saw him fall out with Real boss Zinedine Zidane and only feature in two of his club’s last 14 matches of the campaign.

Liverpool forward Salah was fifth, ahead of Manchester United midfielder Pogba in sixth, with United goalkeeper De Gea in 10th.

Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann was seventh and Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was ninth.

The top three were in the same order as in 2019, although Mbappe rose three places from seventh to fourth.

Argentine Messi, 33, tried to leave Barcelona this summer and submitted a transfer request in August, but decided to stay because no club would be able to afford his release clause. 

With his annual earning, Messi also became football’s second billionaire player after Ronaldo, who had the total earnings of $117m (£91m). Ronaldo is the most followed person Instagram and earns a whopping amount for a sponsored post on the social media platform.

Forbes list of highest earning footballers

  1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina) $126m (£97.2m)
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal) $117m (£90.3m)
  3. Neymar (Paris St-Germain and Brazil) $96m (£74.1m)
  4. Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain and France) $42m (£32.4m)
  5. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt) $37m (£28.5m)
  6. Paul Pogba (Manchester United and France) $34m (£26.2m)
  7. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona and France) $33m (£25.5m)
  8. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid and Wales) $29m (£22.4m)
  9. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich and Poland) $28m (£21.6m)
  10. David de Gea (Manchester United and Spain) £27m (£20.8m)

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