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Lionel Messi , Alberto RiveraLionel Messi , Alberto Rivera
Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina, controls the ball past Elche's Alberto Rivera Pizarro, left, during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Martinez Valero stadium in Elche, Spain, on Sunday, May 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)Alberto Saiz—AP
Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina, controls the ball past Elche's Alberto Rivera Pizarro, left, during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Martinez Valero stadium in Elche, Spain, on Sunday, May 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz), Alberto Saiz—AP
  • Affiliation
    Soccer/Argentina
  • Last Year's Rank
    5
  • Salary$53,776,470
  • Endorsements$21,000,000
  • Total Earnings$74,776,470

In a sport where new deals keep one-upping the old (every few months it seems like a new player signs a record contract), Messi is, for now, top dog after he signed a new contract in May that reportedly will pay him 20 million euros (after taxes), which is (just barely) higher than Ronaldo’s pay. Add that to his endorsement deals with Adidas, Pepsi, Gillette, Herbalife and Turkish Airlines, which will only multiply if he can help Argentina win the World Cup.

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