Football

Lionel Messi heads list of richest footballers

Lionel Messi was denied a potentially money-spinning move away from Barcelona this month after a contract dispute, but the Argentine maestro remains the world's richest footballer.

According to a list compiled by Forbes, Messi's total earnings this year are US$126 million (S$171.5m) - US$92m from his salary and US$34m in endorsements.

Cristiano Ronaldo comes in second, although earnings of US$117m will soften the blow for the Juventus forward, as will his status as the most followed footballer on social media.

Neymar comes in third on the Forbes list (US$96m) with his Paris Saint-Germain teammate, 21-year-old Kylian Mbappe, up in fourth spot ($42m).

The English Premier League remains the world's richest domestic football league, but only two of its outfield players feature in the top 10 of the wealth table - Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah in fifth spot (US$37m) and Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba (US$34m) in sixth. Pogba's teammate, goalkeeper David de Gea (US$27m) is 10th.

Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann is seventh and Real Madrid's Gareth Bale eighth. Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is ninth. - REUTERS

Football