Lionel Messi has retained his place at the top of Forbes’ list of highest-paid footballers after earning $126million (£98m), split between $92m (£71.6m) in salary and $34m (£26.4m) in endorsements over the past year, with Cristiano Ronaldo closely behind him in second.

The Barcelona superstar sent shockwaves through world football last month when he told the club he has spent his entire career at he wanted to leave after a trophyless campaign in 2019-20.

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.

Source: India Today and Sky Sports

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