Missed out again: Cristiano Ronaldo bumped into second place as Lionel Messi tops Forbes' rich list
Despite earning $9 million more in endorsements than his rival Lionel Messi, Ronaldo's $65 million salary was dwarfed by the Barcelona star's $92 million pay packet.
It all added up to a huge $127 million for Messi, who eclipsed Ronaldo's $109 million earnings by a whopping $18 million.
Both men moved up one place from last year's list, due to boxing superstar - and last year's top sporting earner - Floyd Mayweather's inactivity.
Brazilian PSG star Neymar ($105 million) completed a hat-trick of footballers at the top of Forbes' list, listed at number three despite earning $10 million more in salary/winnings than the Portuguese star.
This year's top earner from the sport of boxing, Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, earned just $2 million in endorsements, but his $92 million in salary/winnings matched those of Messi to place him fourth in the list.
The man in fifth, tennis star Roger Federer, had a vastly different pay split. He earned $7.4 million in salary/winnings, but picked up a colossal $86 million in endorsements, the most of any athlete on the list.
UFC star Conor McGregor was a big faller from last years rankings as he dropped down from fourth in 2018 to 21st in this year's list.
However, McGregor not only kept his status as the highest earner from the sport of mixed martial arts, he was also the only MMA fighter to make it into the Top 100.
Meanwhile, just one female athlete made it into the Top 100, with Serena Williams listed at No. 63 ($29.2 million).
FORBES' LIST OF THE WORLD'S HIGHEST-PAID ATHLETES - THE TOP 10
- Lionel Messi (football) - $127 million
- Cristiano Ronaldo (football) - $109 million
- Neymar (football) - $105 million
- Saul Alvarez (boxing) - $94 million
- Roger Federer (tennis) - $93.4 million
- Russell Wilson (NFL) - $89.5 million
- Aaron Rogers (NFL) - $89.3 million
- LeBron James (NBA) - $89 million
- Stephen Curry (NBA) - $79.8 million
- Kevin Durant (NBA) - $65.4 million