Published: Wed, June 12, 2019
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Basketball: Steven Adams among top 100 athletes on Forbes' Rich List

Basketball: Steven Adams among top 100 athletes on Forbes' Rich List

The top 100 spans 10 sports and includes athletes from 25 countries with their $4 billion in combined earnings from prize money, salaries and endorsements up 5% from a year ago, when Floyd Mayweather was first with $285 million.

Second to Messi is arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who ranks among the top three highest-paid athletes for the seventh successive year after receiving $109 million (R1.6 billion) over the past year.

The American business magazine calculated the athletes' earnings by adding up their prizemoney, salaries and endorsements between June 2018 and June 2019. Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta is next footballer on the list (46th overall), having earned $32.5 million.

Messi is one of 38 non-American athletes on the list, with 62 USA stars in the top 100.

Canelo, who defeated Gennady Golovkin last September to become the unified middleweight champion, inked a very lucrative deal last October, signing a five-year 11-fight contract with streaming network DAZN worth $365 million.

Messi is only the second footballer to top the rankings after Ronaldo, and only the eighth different athlete to take the number one spot since the rankings began in 1990.

"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. The NBA accounted for the most athletes with 35.

Evergreen tennis star Roger Federer was fifth on the list with total earnings of $93.4 million.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was the highest earning National Basketball Association player, with $89 million, while Golden State's Stephen Curry was ninth with $79.8 million. Aaron Rodgers (NFL player) $134 million 8.

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