Lionel Messi top-earning athlete in 2021 ahead of LeBron James and Cristiano Ronaldo

Forbes-List
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These are the highest-earning athletes of 2021

Lionel Messi is not having a great season in terms of sport – so things seem to be going better for the Argentine financially. According to Forbes, he is the highest paid athlete of 2021.

For the second time since 2019, soccer star Lionel Messi is number 1 in the athlete money list of the business magazine “Forbes”. According to the ranking published on Thursday, the 34-year-old Argentine earned 130 million US dollars (123.617 million euros) in the past twelve months after moving from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, which is the same as in the same period last year. The midfielder replaces mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor, who grossed $180 million the year before. The “Forbes” list is based on research by the magazine’s editors and is based on estimates and is believed to be reliable.

“Forbes” initially only published a top 10 of the highest-earning athletes, the top 50 is to be announced in the course of May. Overall, the top ten in the leaderboard earned $992 million ($943.293 million) between May 2021 and May this year. This is a decline of six percent compared to the previous year with 1.05 billion US dollars (998.445 million euros).

According to “Forbes” estimates, Messi has suffered a salary loss of 22 million US dollars as a result of his move, but still gets a salary of 75 million US dollars. The Argentine earned $55 million from non-sports deals. Number two in the ranking is basketball star LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers with $121.2 million ($41.2 million/80 million) ahead of Messi’s rival Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United with $115 million ($60 million/ 55 million).

Tennis ace Roger Federer, No. 1 in 2020, is seventh and, at $90 million, is the top-grossing non-sports leader. In total, the long-injured Swiss earned $90.7 million, including $0.7 million from tournaments.

(door / dpa)

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