Messi closes in on billionaire status

Fame & Fortune

FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi looks set to become only the second-ever footballer to achieve billionaire status.

According to a report by Forbes, Messi will surpass the $1 billion (R16 billion) mark for career earnings by the end of the 2020/21 season, making him only the second footballer, and fourth athlete overall, to achieve the financial milestone during their playing career.

The Argentina superstar's wealth arises from his salary at Barcelona over the past 16 years, as well as from his various sponsorship agreements, which include deals with adidas, Lays, Mastercard, Ooredoo and Jabo & Co., among others.

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Golfing star Tiger Woods was the first athlete to reach the $1 billion mark back in 2007, before boxing legend Floyd Mayweather followed suit in 2017 following his crossover bout against Ultimate Fighting Championship superstar Conor McGregor.

Messi's long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo was the first footballer to achieve the milestone in June when he also became the first athlete from a team sport to join the billionaires club. 

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