Lionel Messi Becomes Football’s Second Billionaire

News around football’s celebrated player, Lionel Messi has taken a positive slant this week as he is set to become the sports’ second billionaire after Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to Daily Mail, quoting from statistics by the Forbes Magazine, Messi has not only become a billionaire, he has also fended off competition from Ronaldo to top Forbes’ football rich list.

After Ronaldo previously achieved the feat, Messi has now earned $1billion in pre-tax earnings during his career, as reported by Forbes.

Messi is the highest earning player in 2020 according to Forbes, with the Argentina international set to earn $126million (£98million) – split between his salary of $92million (£72million) plus $34million (£26million) in endorsements.

Having recently agreed to stay at Barcelona for another season after much uncertainty, Messi will hope that he can help the Catalan club to bounce back after they failed to win a trophy last campaign.

In addition to his boot deal with Adidas, Messi also has endorsement deals with Pepsi, Budweiser and AI-vision company OrCam Technologies.

Ronaldo is in second place on Forbes’ list, with the Juventus attacker on course to earn $117million (£91million).

With 457 million followers across his social media accounts, Ronaldo is the most popular athlete in the world. He has deals with companies like Nike and Herbalife.

In third is Paris Saint-Germain winger Neymar, who is due to earn $96million (£75million).

The Brazil international recently switched to Puma after his deal with Nike came to an end.

Neymar’s PSG team-mate Kylian Mbappe has risen significantly on the list to fourth place. He is set to earn $42million (£33million).

In addition to his exploits on the pitch, Mbappe was also named as the cover star for FIFA 21.

It is anticipated that Mbappe will continue to rise up the list and he could well overtake Neymar next year.

Completing the top five is Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, whose earnings total $37million (£29million).

1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) –  $126million

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) – $117million

3. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) – $96million

4. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) – $42million

5. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – $37million

6. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) – $34million

7. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona) – $33million

8. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) – $29million

9. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) – $28million

10. David de Gea (Manchester United) – $27million

Salah, the highest Premier League player on the list, has deals with Adidas and Vodafone Egypt.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is sixth with earnings of $34million (£26million).

In seventh is Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann, who has earned $33million (£26million). He launched an Esports team this year, with his brand growing further.

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale is in eighth with $29million (£23million) despite his lack of game time.

Robert Lewandowski, who helped Bayern Munich to win the treble, is in ninth place with earnings of $24million (£19million).

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, meanwhile, is in tenth having earned $27million (£21million).

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