Lionel Messi Pips Ronaldo, Neymar to Top Spot in Rich List

Lionel Messi


Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has pipped Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar to top spot in Forbes’ annual list of soccer’s top earners.

The 33-year-old Argentina international took home a cool $126 million in earnings in 2020, finishing ahead of long-term rival Ronaldo whose total earnings came in at $117m.

Messi earned $92m from Barcelona and topped that up with a mere $34m in endorsements. The captain has deals with Adidas and Pepsi among others.

The forward’s former Barcelona team-mate Neymar came in third on the list with total earnings of $96m. The Brazilian earns $78 million at French side Paris Saint-Germain.

The only other Barcelona player to feature in the top 10 is France international and World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann. The 29-year-old is seventh on the list with total earnings of $33m in 2020.

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Messi Into Final Year of Barcelona Contract

Messi is now into the final year of his Barcelona contract after a summer of uncertainty over his future. The captain told the Catalan giants he wanted to leave but has since confirmed he’ll stay after being unable to find a way out.

The forward’s contract expires at the end of next season, and it’s not clear what his next move may be. Much may depend on the outcome of March’s presidential elections.

Barcelona would surely love Messi to continue and see out his career at the club he joined almost two decades ago, but he won’t lack for offers if he does decide to walk away as a free agent.

Messi will turn 34 in June 2020 but has not shown too many signs of slowing down yet despite heading towards the end of his career. He finished top of La Liga’s goals and assists charts in 2019-20. Former Barcelona star Rivaldo told Betfair he thinks Messi can play “until he is 37 or 38 years old.”

There’s no doubt that Messi still has the talent to walk into any team in the world, but his huge wages means there are not too many clubs who could afford to land the superstar.

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