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Footballer Lionel Messi far behind sport's top earners

Published on May 20, 2014 7:36 PM

Lionel Messi may well be the world's highest-paid footballer now after he inked a new three-year contract with Barcelona, with a reported nett annual salary of 20 million euros (S$34.3 million).

His new deal surpasses that of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, who is reportedly earning 17 million euros nett a year.

But neither of them can match the salaries, or winnings, pulled in by athletes from American sports such as baseball and American football.

Here is a list of the world's highest-earning athletes, without endorsements, as of June 2013 compiled by Forbes:

1) Floyd Mayweather* (Winnings: US$73.5 million or S$92 million)
Age: 37
Sport: Boxing

2) Manny Pacquiao* (Winnings: US$64 million)
Age: 35
Sport: Boxing

3) Aaron Rodgers (Annual Salary: US$43 million)
Age: 30
Sport: American football (Green Bay Packers)

4) Drew Brees (Salary: US$40 million)
Age: 35
Sport: American football (New Orlean Saints)

5) Joe Flacco (Salary: US$35.9 million)
Age: 29
Sport: American football (Baltimore Ravens)

6) Tom Brady (Salary: US$31.3 million)
Age: 36
Sport: American football (New England Patriots)

7) Alex Rodriguez (Salary: US$29.8 million)
Age: 38
Sport: Baseball (Third baseman, New York Yankees)

8) Fernando Alonso (Salary: US$28 million)
Age: 32
Sport: Formula One racing (Ferrari)

9) Kobe Bryant (Salary: US$27.9 million)
Age: 35
Sport: Basketball (Los Angeles Lakers)

10) Lionel Messi (Salary: US$27 million)
Age: 26
Sport: Football (FC Barcelona)

* - earnings between June 2013 and May 2014.