Lionel Messi has once again beaten Cristiano Ronaldo to emerge highest paid footballer, according to Forbes.

Messi who attpted what would have been a very lucrative transfer away from Barcelona, topped Ronaldo with total earnings of $126m (£98m), split between $92m (£71.6m) in salary and $34m (£26.4m) in endorsements.

Ronaldo came second despite being the most followed footballer in the world on social media with $117m (£91m).

Similar to 2019’s top three, Neymar grabbed the third position on the Forbes list ($96m, £74.7m) with his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate, 21-year-old Kylian Mbappe, in fourth spot ($42m, £32.6m).

Only three Premier League players featured in the top 10 – Liverpool’s title-winning striker Mohamed Salah in fifth ($37m, £28.8m) and Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba ($34m, £26.4m) in sixth. Pogba’s team-mate, keeper David de Gea ($27m, £21m) is 10th.

Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann was seventh and Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale eighth. Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, the only Bundesliga player who made the list, was ninth.