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Forbes List: Ronaldo is Highest Paid Athlete, Messi Moves Third on List

According to Forbes, the world’s 10 highest-paid athletes collectively earned $1.38 bn (£1.06bn) before taxes and agents’ fees over the past 12 months, which is the highest total ever.

Cristiano Ronaldo has topped the Forbes list of highest-paid athletes for the fourth time in his career, with Jon Rahm moving up to second.

Ronaldo also headed the list last year following his move to Saudi Arabian football club Al Nassr.

Business magazine Forbes says, externally the 39-year-old Portugal forward earned $260m (£205m) – up from $136m (£108.7m) – over the past 12 months.

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Ronaldo’s great rival Lionel Messi has fallen a place to third behind Rahm.

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The Spanish golfer has jumped up to second on the back of his switch to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf tour and is reported to have earned $218m (£172m).

Footballers Neymar and Karim Benzema have also entered the top 10 after moves to the Saudi Pro League.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo (fifth) joins fellow basketball stars LeBron James (fourth) and Stephen Curry (ninth) on the list, while American football quarterback Lamar Jackson is in 10th spot.

According to Forbes, the world’s 10 highest-paid athletes collectively earned $1.38 bn (£1.06bn) before taxes and agents’ fees over the past 12 months, which is the highest total ever.

World’s top 10 highest paid athletes 2024
1. Cristiano Ronaldo, football: $260m (£205m)

2. Jon Rahm, golf: $218m (£172m)

3. Lionel Messi, football: $135m (£107m)

4. LeBron James, basketball: $128.2m (£101m)

5. Giannis Antetokounmpo, basketball: $111m (£88m)

6. Kylian Mbappe, football: $110m (£87m)

7. Neymar, football: $108m (£85m)

8. Karim Benzema, football: $106m (£84m)

9. Stephen Curry, basketball: $102m (£80m)

10. Lamar Jackson, American football: $100.5m (£79m)

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