FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is the highest-paid athlete in the world for 2019, usurping Floyd Mayweather, according to Forbes.
On Tuesday American business magazine Forbes released its annual ranking of the World’s 100 Highest-Paid athletes, who collectively earned $4 billion (R59bn).
Scroll through the gallery above to see the top-ten highest paid footballers over the past year
And Messi was named the highest paid athlete for the first time, moving one position from last year thanks to a staggering earnings of $127m (R1.87bn).
The Argentina captain accrued the amount through $92m in salary/winnings and $35m in endorsements from sponsorship deals, according to Forbes.
The rankings is based on overall earnings which includes salaries, winnings from respective sports and endorsement deals all amassed over the period between June 2018 to June 2019.
Messi is joined in the top-ten by Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo who earned a total of $109m (R1.6bn) and Neymar who picked up $105m (R1.54bn) with Paris Saint-Germain and his various sponsorships - which includes Nike.
The senior editor of Forbes Media Kurt Badenhausen duly noted that the earnings of soccer stars have vastly improved but basket ball players remain the dominant representatives with 35 in the top 100 - opposed to the 12 soccer players.
"The global impact of soccer is clearly reflected in earnings in 2019, with the top three athletes on the list being Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar,” Badenhausen said on the official website.
"But basketball players continue to dominate the top 100 overall with 35 athletes on the list earning a total of $1.29 billion, with 72% of that income coming from salaries rather than endorsement deals."
Of the global icons Messi has out earned this year include Tennis legend Roger Federer and Basketball superstars Lebron James, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.