According to Forbes, Lionel Messi has become the second footballer in history to earn $1 billion in his career after tax.
The Barcelona superstar’s career earnings of over one billion dollars (840 million euros) places Messi in a group of mega-wealthy sports figures containing just Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather and his longtime rival on the pitch, Cristiano Ronaldo.
In 2020 Messi was the best paid footballer in the world with an income of $126 million from his Barca salary ($92 million for the 2020/2021 season) and $34 million from sponsors and other sources, Forbes reports.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner knocked Ronaldo ($117 million) off the top of the football salary chart with Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar ($96 million) in third place. In addition, Messi is set to earn £98 million this year due to his insane wages and variety of sponsorship deals.
He is the face of Adidas and has multi-year contracts with drinks company Pepsi and video game publisher Konami. Forbes’ top 10 earning players made a combined $570 million this season, a jump of 11 percent despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic to European leagues and the global economy.
Forbes explained how their list was calculated, stating: “To compile our list, we spoke with clubs, players’ agents, commercial sponsors and soccer experts in the U.S. and Europe. All figures are converted to U.S. dollars and include soccer salaries for the 2020-21 season, bonuses and endorsements. Transfer fees are excluded. Earnings are pretax.”
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