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Official: Messi is world’s highest-paid soccer star, Neymar third

According to a France Football report via ESPNFC.com Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona made $71 million (€65 million) in total earnings in 2014, making him the highest-paid soccer player in the world, while his team mate, Neymar Jr. has placed an enviable third with $40 million, just behind Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo’s $59 million.

Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar thus top the cash table playing football in Spain.

Messi’s total earnings include $31 million (€28 million) in endorsements, including deals with Turkish Airlines and EA Sports, and $39 million (€36 million) in salary with FC Barcelona in Spain’s La Liga. The salary makes Messi the highest-paid athlete in team sports based on salary alone.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi’s rival with Real Madrid, is the second-highest-paid soccer player with total earnings of $59 million (€54 million).

Below are the top ten soccer earners in the world:

  1. Lional Messi, FC Barcelona (Spain) — $71 million (€65 million)
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid (Spain) — $59 million (€54 million)
  3. Neymar Jr, FC Barcelona (Spain) — $40.0 million (€36.5 million)
  4. Thiago Silva, Paris Saint-Germain (France) — $30.1 million (€27.5 million)
  5. Robin Van Persie, Manchester United (England) — $28.1 million (€25.6 million)
  6. Gareth Bale, Real Madrid (Spain) — $26.1 million (€23.8 million)
  7. Wayne Rooney, Manchester United (England) — $24.7 million (€22.5 million)
  8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paris Saint-Germain (France) — $23.6 million (€21.5 million)
  9. Sergio Agüero, Manchester City (England) — $23.3 million (€21.2 million)
  10. Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich (Germany) — $22.2 million (€20.2 million)
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