Messi beats Ronaldo in 2019 Forbes rich list

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Argentina and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi is reported to be the world's highest paid athlete, raking in NZ$192 million over the past 12 months according to the Forbes top 100 ranking.

American tennis player Serena Williams is the only woman in the top 100, earning $44 million.

The list, which has been published annually since 1990, was created by the well-known American business magazine and takes into account endorsements, money and salaries garnered by athletes between the period of June 2018 and June 2019 to get an accurate reading for the ranking.

This year's list consists of athletes from 25 different countries and 10 different sports, with basketball being the most represented. However, on this occasion, and thanks to their expensive contracts and their sponsorship deals, it's Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar who lead the way.

For the second successive year, Lionel Messi sits above arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo in Forbes' latest rich list, ranking as the best-earning footballer across the globe.

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However, McGregor not only kept his status as the highest earner from the sport of mixed martial arts, he was also the only MMA fighter to make it into the Top 100.

Messi is one of 38 non-American athletes on the list, with 62 U.S. stars in the top 100. Neymar (Footballer) $158 million 4.

This year's top earner from the sport of boxing, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, earned just $2 million in endorsements, but his $92 million in salary/winnings matched those of Messi to place him fourth in the list.

Evergreen tennis star Roger Federer was fifth on the list with total earnings of $93.4m. Russell Wilson (NFL player) $135 million 7.

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