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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

- Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar named in Forbes top-earning athletes list

 There are nine footballers in the top 100 earners, yet there is one standout figure in the ranking who earns more than twice as much as anyone else

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are three of the footballing stars to have made it into the top 10 of Forbes ranking of the world’s highest-earning athletes.

Barcelona attacker Messi is placed second in the list, one place ahead of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, while Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain has also made the cut.

The superstar trio, however, all trail boxer Floyd Mayweather, who has lived up to his ‘Money’ nickname by earning $285 million (£212m) over the course of the last year.

That figure is more than twice as much as Messi, who is on $111m (£82.6m), including endorsements, while Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo comes in at $108m (£80.4m).

Neymar, meanwhile, is ranked fifth in the world with an income of $90m (£67m).

There are nine footballers on the list, with Real Madrid and Wales star Gareth Bale next to come in at No.35.

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba has just failed to make the top 50, at No.52, while Oscar of Shanghai SIPG is four places below him.

Everton’s Wayne Rooney ranks at No.58, two spots above Barcelona forward Luis Suarez. The final footballer in the list is Sergio Aguero, who is at No.86.

The list, which details the top 100 earners in sport, has been dominated by three men over the course of the last 18 years, with Mayweather, Ronaldo and golfer Tiger Woods the only figures to have topped the standings over that period.

American sports dominate the list, with soaring NBA salaries meaning that basketball accounts for 40 of the 100 personalities on the list. Next comes American football with 18, with baseball next up with 18.