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Messi beats Ronaldo to top footballers’ rich list

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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.

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