Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has become only the second player in football history to pocket $1 billion in career earnings.
Earlier in 2020, Messi’s long term rival Cristiano Ronaldo became football’s first billionaire – making him just the third athlete in world sport to earn $1 billion from career earnings, after Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather.
According to Forbes, Messi was the highest paid footballer in the world in 2020, earning $126m ($92m in salary and $34m in endorsements) to tip him over the $1 billion mark.
The Argentinian caused a storm after demanding to leave Barcelona in August, but the situation resolved itself and he is poised to pocket $92m for remaining with the club for the final year of his contract.
Ronaldo was a close second in the 2020 footballer rich list, followed by PSG teammates Neymar and 21-year-old Kylian Mbappe.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah was the highest placing Premier League player and completed the top five.
Manchester United have two players in the top 10 – Paul Pogba and David de Gea, while Real Madrid have just the one – out of favour Gareth Bale.
The complete top 10 are listed below:
1. Lionel Messi – Barcelona
Total Earnings: $126m
2. Cristiano Ronaldo – Juventus
Total Earnings: $117m
3. Neymar – PSG
Total Earnings: $96m
4. Kylian Mbappe – PSG
Total Earnings: $42m
5. Mohamed Salah – Liverpool
Total Earnings: $37m
6. Paul Pogba – Manchester United
Total Earnings: $34m
7. Antoine Griezmann – Barcelona
Total Earnings: $33m
8. Gareth Bale – Real Madrid
Total Earnings: $29m
9. Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich
Total Earnings: $28m
10. David de Gea