by G9ija

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has moved above rival Cristiano Ronaldo in the annual Forbes list ranking of the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes.

The Argentine skipper, with earnings of £82.9 million, occupies second spot behind boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, with Ronaldo in third with £80.6 million.

According to the magazine, Messi’s annual salary and bonus were more than £59 million before tax, making him the year’s highest-paid player, with endorsement deals with companies including Adidas and Pepsi adding to his fortune.

His move above Ronaldo comes after he signed a new contract at the Camp Nou, with Brazil star Neymar (£67.2 million) now in fifth place following his world-record move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

Ronaldo has a place in the list’s top three for a sixth successive year, while Neymar has moved 13 places to fifth after his €222 million move with PSG in 2017.