Messi beats Ronaldo to top Forbes' 2020 football rich list
NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: In yet another achievement for Argentine striker Lionel Messi, the Barcelona star has topped this year's football rich list. According to Forbes, Messi has become only the second footballer - after Portuguese playmaker Cristiano Ronaldo - to reach $1 billion in pre-tax earnings.
Messi recently said that he wanted to leave Barcelona but club president Josep Maria Bartomeu did not accept his request. Bartomeu's refusal means that Messi, 33, will earn $92 million for the remaining year of his contract.
Forbes estimated that Messi will earn USD 126 million in 2020, while Ronaldo will take home $117 million. Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar is in third place with $96 million and French international Kylian Mbappe will get richer by $42 million.
Mbappe, 21, is one of the youngest players to grace the cover of FIFA's EA Sports video game series. Forbes said that the French star is set to earn more by signing a new contract after the expiry of his current deal with PSG in 2022.
Liverpool's Egyptian forward Mo Salah is at the fifth place with $37 million and Premier League star Paul Pogba is sixth at $34 million.
Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann ($33m), Real Madrid's Gareth Bale ($29m), Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski ($28m) and Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea ($27m) are the other players in the top 10.