Editorial

Forbes Names Lionel Messi Highest Paid Athlete In 2019, Russell Wilson Highest Paid American

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief

Forbes dropped the latest list of highest paid athletes, and soccer star Lionel Messi took the top spot.

According to Forbes, Messi made $127 million in the past year. Cristiano Ronaldo came in second at $109 million and Neymar was third at $105 million. (RELATED: Russell Wilson Agrees To $140 Million Extension With The Seahawks, Gets $65 Million Signing Bonus)

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was the top American-born athlete after making $89.5 million. Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers was second at $89.3 million.

 

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Despite the fact I make fun of soccer nonstop, there’s no doubt the best players get paid. There’s nearly a $30 million gap between Wilson and Messi, and it’s not in the future hall of famer’s favor.

There’s clearly some big endorsement money to be made in the sport due to the fact it’s international. Messi made $35 million in endorsements to Wilson’s $9 million. Ronaldo was even higher at $44 million in endorsement cash.

 

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The reality of the matter is the top NFL players will always get paid big money, but they’re just not the same on an international scale like soccer stars are.

That’s just a fact. Nobody outside of America really cares about the sport. It’s their loss, but it’s true. I’d love it if the NFL was watched as much as soccer in Argentina and such, but let’s not pretend like that’ll be happening anytime soon.

 

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Sound off in the comments with whether or not you’re surprised soccer players took the top three spots. As an American, it might be a shade jarring, but it’s the reality of the situation.

At least a chill guy like Wilson led the way for the American side.

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