Messi: The Highest-Ranking Latino on Forbes’ World’s Highest-Paid Athletes List

Lionel Messi is rolling in the deep dough…

The 27-year-old Argentine soccer star is the highest-ranking Latino on Forbes magazine’s 2015 list of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes with $73.8 million in salary/winnings and endorsements.

Lionel Messi

Last year, FC Barcelona awarded their record four-time Ballon d’Or, FIFA’s Player of the Year, winner with a $9 million a year raise in his seventh contract since 2005 to bring his take home pay to $50 million a year through 2018.

Messi now holds the records for all-time all-game goals for Barcelona, most goals in La Liga competitions, most goals scored in a calendar year and most hat tricks scored.

Messi’s superhuman talent is why sponsor Samsung cast him as superhero Iron Man in their ad to promote the Avengers film. It’s also why his main sponsor Adidas launched a Messi icon line of shoes and apparel, which has exceeded company sales expectations, including in the U.S. In all, he earned $22 million in endorsements.

But Messi isn’t the only Latino athlete to make the list.

Fernando Alonso ranks No. 17 on Forbes’ world’s highest-paid athletes roster with combined earnings of $35.5 million.

The 33-year-old Spanish Formula One driver and a two-time World Champion secured another massive payday when he negotiated a return to McLaren-Honda, where he raced during the 2007 season. The two-year deal is worth more than $30 million annually.

Alonso finished second in the F1 standings in 2012 and 2013, but dropped to sixth last year in his final year with Ferrari. Alonso failed to secure a single point in the first five races of the 2015 F1 season. Alonso partnered with UAE sport investment firm Novo last year to establish a professional cycling team in the future.

Next on the list, Rafael Nadal, who comes in at No. 22 with earnings of $32.5 million.

The 29-year-old Spanish tennis star, who has struggled with injuries after a colossal 2013 season, saw his prize money drop by $10 million to $4.5 million in the latest 12 months.

He was the No. 1 player in the world as recently as June 2014, but sits at No. 10 a year later. He even lost at the French Open in the semifinals after winning 66 of his previous 67 matches and nine titles at Roland Garros.

Nadal did sign two new endorsements deals, with Tommy Hilfiger and Spanish communications giant Telefonica. Kia Motors also renewed its contract with Nadal in May for five years through 2020. They first partnered in 2004.

Nadal’s $73 million in career prize money ranks third all-time behind Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

Other Latino athletes making the Top 30 on Forbes’ list are soccer phenom Neymar at No. 23, NBA star Carmelo Anthony at No. 25 and World Cup standout and Google god James Rodriguez at No. 27.

Here’s a look at the Latino athletes who made this year’s list:

No. 4 Lionel Messi, Soccer, Argentine, $73.8 Million
No. 17 Fernando Alonso, Racing, Spanish, $35.5 Million
No. 22 Rafael Nadal, Tennis, Spanish, #32.5 Million
No. 23 Neymar, Soccer, Brazilian, $31 Million
No. 25 Carmelo Anthony, Basketball, Half-Puerto Rican, $30.5 Million
No. 27 James Rodriguez, Soccer, Colombian, $29 Million
No. 30 Robinson Cano, Baseball, Dominican, $27.6 Million
No. 38 Radamel Falcao, Soccer, Colombian, $25.9 Million
No. 38 Albert Pujols, Baseball, Dominican, $25.9 Million
No. 43 Miguel Cabrera, Baseball, Venezuelan, $25.1 Million
No. 45 Sergio Aguero, Soccer, Argentine, $24.9 Million
No. 60 Felix Hernandez, Baseball, Venezuelan, $22.9 Million
No. 67 Tony Romo, Football, Mexican American, $22 Million
No. 69 Adrian Gonzalez, Baseball, Mexican American, $21.5 Million
No. 73 Luis Suarez, Soccer, Uruguayan, $21 Million
No. 79 Cesc Fabregas, Soccer, Spanish, $20.3 Million
No. 79 Hanley Ramirez, Baseball, Dominican, $20.3 Million
No. 87 David Ortiz, Baseball, Dominican, $19.7 Million

Click here for the complete list.

1 thought on “Messi: The Highest-Ranking Latino on Forbes’ World’s Highest-Paid Athletes List

  1. Pingback: Messi: The Top-Ranking Latino on Forbes' Celebrity 100 List | Hispanically Yours: Celebrating the Latino Influence

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