Roger Federer beats Lionel Messi to top of sport's rich list

Roger Federer is the world’s highest-paid athlete for 2020 after the coronavirus pandemic knocked football’s Lionel Messi off top spot, according to the annual Forbes list.

The Swiss tennis great, owner of a men’s record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, earned $106.3million in the last 12 months, including $100m via endorsements, to move up four places and become the first player from his sport to top the list.

Footballers Cristiano Ronaldo($105m), Messi ($104m) and Neymar ($95.5m) and basketball player LeBron James ($88.2m) rounded out the top five.

“The coronavirus pandemic triggered salary cuts for soccer stars Messi and Ronaldo, clearing the way for a tennis player to rank as the world’s highest-paid athlete for the first time,” said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor at Forbes.

“Roger Federer is the perfect pitchman for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement portfolio of blue-chip brands worth $100 million a year for the tennis great.”

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