- May 8, 2002
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Barcelona and Argentina striker Lionel Messi dethroned five-division boxing world champion Floyd Mayweather as the highest paid athlete over the past year, according to the annual list published by business magazine Forbes. Messi, who scored 36 goals while leading Barcelona to the La Liga title this year, earned £99.8m between his salary and endorsements to move up one spot on the list of the world's 100 highest-paid athletes. Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo (£86 million), Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar (£83m million), Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez (£74 million) and Swiss tennis great Roger Federer (£73m million) rounded out the top five.