Top 10 highest paid players as Messi and Ronaldo lead Forbes Rich list

Lionel Messi has joined Cristiano Ronaldo in the realms of billionaire footballer after pipping his rival to top Forbes Rich List for 2020.

The Barcelona captain is set to rake in $126million (£98m) this year to boost his career earnings over the billion pound mark.

In doing so Messi becomes only the second player to boast such sums following Ronaldo, who reached the landmark figure earlier this year.

Messi's earnings are funded largely from his mammoth Barcelona salary of $92m (£72m), but he also receives a significant portion of $34m (£26m) from endorsements.

The 33-year-old has various sponsorship deals including Adidas, Pepsi and Budweiser.

Ronaldo isn't far behind the Argentinian, cashing in $117m (£91m) in total this year.

The Portuguese superstar has a huge social media following and is reported to have a lifetime contract with Nike, as well as other endorsement deals with the likes of watchmaker Tag Heuer and nutrition supplement company Herbalife, which make up $47m (£36m)of his earnings.

His salary is significantly lower than Messi's, earning Ronaldo $70m (£54.5m) a year from Juventus.

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Third on the list is PSG forward Neymar who has just ended a 15-year relationship with Nike to sign for sportswear rivals Puma.

The Brazilian actually trumps Ronaldo in terms of salary, receiving an extra $8m (£6.2m) from his PSG contract.

However his endorsements for 2020 accumulate for $18m (£13.9m) of his total of $96m (£74.6m) annual earnings – although his deal with Puma could see that figure rise considerably next year.

There is then a big jump from those three mega stars to the rest of the players on Forbes' list – with Neymar's PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe next up with a total of $42m (£32.6m).

Three Premier League stars made it into the top 10, with Man Utd duo Paul Pogba (6th) and David de Gea (10th) following Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (5th).

Salah will collect a tidy $37m (£28.7m) over the course of the year, $24m (£18.6m) in salary and $13m (£10m) in endorsements.

Pogba meanwhile is due to earn $34m (£26.4m), while de Gea is on $27m (£20.9m).

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Forbes Football Rich List 2020 – Top 10

1. Lionel Messi – Total: $126m (£98m)

2. Cristiano Ronaldo – Total: $117m (£91m)

3. Neymar – Total: $96m (£74.6m)

4. Kylian Mbappe – Total: $42m (£32.6m)

5. Mohamed Salah – Total: $37m (£28.7m)

6. Paul Pogba – Total: $34m (£26.3m)

7. Antoine Griezmann – Total: $33m (£25.6m)

8. Gareth Bale – Total: $29m (£22.5m)

9. Robert Lewandowski – Total: $28m (£21.7m)

10. David de Gea – Total: $27m (£20.9m)

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