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Why Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi fell behind Federer in highest-paid athletes list

Both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo feature on the Forbes list
Both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo feature on the Forbes list
ANALYST
Modified 29 May 2020
News

According to the latest issue of the Forbes magazine, both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been dethroned as the world's richest athletes by tennis great Roger Federer.

Federer brought in a total of $106.3 million in pre-tax earnings and beat both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the crown.

For three of the last four years, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been exchanging top spot on the list. This is also the first time Roger Federer has ascended to the first place, edging the likes of Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Lionel Messi, Tom Brady, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo among the top five richest athletes

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo always seem to share the spotlight
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo always seem to share the spotlight

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been regulars in the top five of the world's richest athletes for several years now. The Forbes magazine conducts a yearly global survey to calculate the pre-tax earnings of high-profile athletes across the world of sport.

In addition to his income from advertising and endorsements, Lionel Messi's new contract with Barcelona last year saw him top the 2019 edition of the prestigious list published by Forbes.

Cristiano Ronaldo is generally never far behind on the list and was the richest athlete in the world in 2016 and 2017 according to Forbes.

In addition to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, several other illustrious football superstars are also present on the Forbes list.

Lionel Messi's former teammate Neymar is hot on Cristiano Ronaldo's trail and finds himself in the fourth place on the list. The Paris Saint-Germain superstar has not had the best of years on the pitch and continues to struggle with injuries. Off the pitch, however, Neymar's stock continues to rise.

Neymar's French teammate Kylian Mbappe is also present on the list. The youngster's inclusion on the list at number 36 further underscores his growing potential in the world of football, both on and off the pitch.

Neymar and Mbappe are also included in the list
Neymar and Mbappe are also included in the list

Kylian Mbappe's high ranking on the Forbes list may also be an indication of a growing power shift in football. The World Cup winner's financial clout and Paris Saint-Germain's seemingly endless resources may pose stiff competition to both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the future.

Mbappe continues to turn heads with his performances and will certainly feature in the list for years to come.

On the pitch, Lionel Messi seems to be back to his best. The Argentine magician was seen ripping through his teammates in training and will be looking forward to the return of La Liga in the coming weeks.

Barcelona is only 2 points ahead of Real Madrid with eleven matches left to play. While the margin is as minuscule as can be, Spanish football may see Lionel Messi pull yet another rabbit out of the hat this season.

Cristiano Ronaldo finds himself in a very similar situation. Juventus usually finds itself participating in a victory parade at this time of the year, but is now embroiled in a battle with Lazio for the Serie A title.

The reigning champions will have to bank on their Portuguese talisman to give them an edge over their title rivals and clinch the Serie A.

Published 29 May 2020
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