0629 GMT October 01, 2020
Forbes estimated Messi’s yearly earnings at $126 million (£97.2 million) with Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo second on $117 million (£90.3 million), BBC Sport reported.
Neymar ($96 million) was in third with Paris St.-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe ($42 million) fourth.
Three Premier League players – Mohamed Salah, Paul Pogba and David de Gea – made the top 10, as did Real Madrid and Wales forward Gareth Bale.
Welshman Bale came eighth in the list at $29 million (£22.4m) despite a disappointing 2019-20 season, on a personal level, which saw him fall out with Real boss Zinedine Zidane and only feature in two of his club’s last 14 matches of the campaign.
Liverpool forward Salah was fifth, ahead of Manchester United midfielder Pogba in sixth, with United goalkeeper De Gea in 10th.
Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann was seventh and Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was ninth.
The top three were in the same order as in 2019, although Mbappe rose three places from seventh to fourth.
Argentine Messi, 33, tried to leave Barcelona this summer and submitted a transfer request in August, but decided to stay because no club would be able to afford his release clause.