Barcelona star Lionel Messi becomes football's second billionaire

Lionel Messi becomes football’s second billionaire as Barcelona star – who is set to earn £98million in 2020 – fends off competition from Cristiano Ronaldo to top Forbes’ list of high earners

  • Barcelona legend Lionel Messi has become football’s second billionaire
  • Messi fended off competition from Cristiano Ronaldo to top Forbes rich list
  • The Argentina international is set to earn £98million during this calendar year

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has become football’s second billionaire.

After Cristiano Ronaldo previously achieved the feat, Messi has now earned $1billion in pre-tax earnings during his career, as reported by Forbes.

Messi is the highest earning player in 2020 according to Forbes, with the Argentina international set to earn $126million (£98million) – split between his salary of $92million (£72million) plus $34million (£26million) in endorsements.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has become football’s second billionaire, Forbes have revealed

The Argentina star has many endorsement deals, including a boot contract with Adidas

Messi has also appeared in various adverts, including for Pepsi – he’s set to earn £98m this year

Having recently agreed to stay at Barcelona for another season after much uncertainty, Messi will hope that he can help the Catalan club to bounce back after they failed to win a trophy last campaign.

In addition to his boot deal with Adidas, Messi also has endorsement deals with Pepsi, Budweiser and AI-vision company OrCam Technologies. 

Cristiano Ronaldo is in second place on Forbes’ list; he is set to earn £91million in 2020

Ronaldo is the most popular athlete in the world – he has 457 million followers on social media

Ronaldo is in second place on Forbes’ list, with the Juventus attacker on course to earn $117million (£91million).

With 457 million followers across his social media accounts, Ronaldo is the most popular athlete in the world. He has deals with companies like Nike and Herbalife. 

In third is Paris Saint-Germain winger Neymar, who is due to earn $96million (£75million). 

The Brazil international recently switched to Puma after his deal with Nike came to an end. 

Neymar, who is due to earn £75million, recently made the switch from Nike to Puma

PSG’s Kylian Mbappe rose significantly up the list and is poised to earn $42million this year

Mohamed Salah, who is set to earn $37million this year, is the highest Premier League player 

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is in sixth place and is on course to earn £26million

Neymar’s PSG team-mate Kylian Mbappe has risen significantly on the list to fourth place. He is set to earn $42million (£33million).

In addition to his exploits on the pitch, Mbappe was also named as the cover star for FIFA 21.

It is anticipated that Mbappe will continue to rise up the list and he could well overtake Neymar next year.

Completing the top five is Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, whose earnings total $37million (£29million).

FORBES’ HIGHEST PAID PLAYERS IN 2020  

1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) –  $126million

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) – $117million

3. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) – $96million

4. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) – $42million

5. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – $37million

6. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) – $34million

7. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona) – $33million

8. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) – $29million

9. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) – $28million

10. David de Gea (Manchester United) – $27million 

Salah, the highest Premier League player on the list, has deals with Adidas and Vodafone Egypt.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is sixth with earnings of $34million (£26million).

Antoine Griezmann is still high on the list despite a challenging first season at Barcelona

Gareth Bale is on the periphery of proceedings as Real Madrid but is still set to earn £23million

In seventh is Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann, who has earned $33million (£26million). He launched an Esports team this year, with his brand growing further.

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale is in eighth with $29million (£23million) despite his lack of game time.

Robert Lewandowski helped Bayern Munich to win the treble and is ninth in Forbes’ list

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, who earns £21million, completes the top ten

Robert Lewandowski, who helped Bayern Munich to win the treble, is in ninth place with earnings of $24million (£19million).

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, meanwhile, is in tenth having earned $27million (£21million).  




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