Messi has received criticism for some of his off-field sponsorships, recently promoting tourism for Saudi Arabia. He was pictured in the country and posted a photo on his personal Instagram account with the tag #VisitSaudi.
The country has long been accused of sportswashing in order to hide its poor human rights record
“Recent additions to Messi’s revenue streams
: 卡塔尔, controversial crypto company Socios and Saudi
. Man’s gotta eat
,” tweeted New York Times reporter Tariq Panja
CNN has reached out to Messi’s representatives for comment but did not get an immediate reply.
NBA superstar James comes in a narrow second on the rich list, 收入 $ 121.2 million a year.
The Los Angeles Lakers forward may have missed the playoffs this season but he’s been dominant off the court, cashing in on his talk show and starring in last year’s 太空果酱: 新的遗产 电影.
Forbes estimates James is now worth a staggering $ 850 百万.
Cristiano Ronaldo completes the top three, 收入 $ 115 million after moving from Juventus to Manchester United.
The Portuguese superstar earns the same as Messi off-field with the majority coming from his unrivaled social media presence.
Ronaldo has 690 million followers across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, allowing him to leverage for higher sponsorship fees from a number of companies.
Forbes calculates the estimates based on prize money, salaries and bonuses as well as estimations of sponsorship deals and other off-field revenue streams.