Virat Kohli only Indian in Forbes’ 100 highest-paid athletes list

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Lead Forbes Highest Paid Athlete List

Just a matter of days after missing out on the UEFA Nations League's Player of the Tournament award, Cristiano Ronaldo has been beaten to another honor, the top spot in Forbes' annual list of the world's highest-paid athletes.

The new list put Messi ahead of long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo, the Juventus and Portugal star who was second with earnings of $109 million.

Meanwhile tennis superstar Serena Williams was the only woman to make the list, coming in at 63rd with earnings of $29.2 million.

The top 100 includes athletes from 25 countries and their $5.96 billion combined earnings are up 5 per cent from the previous year when American boxer Floyd Mayweather was first with $430 million.

The American business magazine calculated the athletes' earnings by adding up their prize money, salaries and endorsements between June 2018 and June 2019.

Ranked 83rd on last year's list, Kohli has climbed down to the 100th spot despite an increase of Dollars 1m in endorsements.

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The fourth highest earner on the list was Mexico's middleweight boxing star Saul "Canelo" Alvarez with $94m.

The American boxer's only fight since August 2017 was an exhibition boxing bout against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in December.

Brazilian PSG star Neymar ($105 million) completed a hat-trick of footballers at the top of Forbes' list, listed at number three despite earning $10 million more in salary/winnings than the Portuguese star.

Ronaldo ($108m) was third with Neymar ($90m) in fifth.

Manchester United star Paul Pogba is next footballer on the list but is the 44th highest earner overall. The NBA accounted for the most athletes with 35. Russell Wilson (NFL player) $135 million 7.

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