Creative Soccer Culture

Ronaldo & Messi Are Second & Third Highest-Paid Athletes Of The Decade

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi continue to lead the way in terms of performances on the pitch, and it should come as no surprise to learn that, according to Forbes, over the last decade the pair have earnt over £1 billion between them, placing them both firmly in the top five earning athletes over the last ten years.

As outstanding as they were, after Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or in 2008 and Messi followed in 2009, few people would have predicted that the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry would still be going strong as 2020. And whilst they edge towards the end of their careers, they both appear to have built themselves a nice little nest egg for retirement. According to Forbes’ highest earning athletes lists over the last decade, Leo, the highest earning athlete of 2019, is sitting on £570m in earnings from the last ten years, while Cristiano can boast £608m. The figures are made up from the stars’ staggering wages, which are bolstered by prize money, bonuses, endorsements, appearance fees and licensing income.

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Ronaldo is edged out of the number one spot by the aptly nicknamed Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, who raked in a cool £87 million more than the Portuguese. The only other footballer to get close to the top ten was Neymar Jr, who just missed out with a total of £305m. The top 10 for the decade, which includes a pair from boxing, soccer, basketball and golf, collectively made £4.6 billion.

Top Earning Athletes 2010-2019:

1. Floyd Mayweather: £695m

2. Cristiano Ronaldo: £608m

3. Lionel Messi: £570m

4. LeBron James: £516.5m

5. Roger Federer: £486m

6. Tiger Woods: £467m

7. Phil Mickelson: £364.5m

8. Manny Pacquiao: £330m

9. Kevin Durant: £328m

10. Lewis Hamilton: £308m

Daniel Jones

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