Lionel Messi Overtakes Cristiano Ronaldo On Forbes Rich List

Al Horford and Kyrie Irving

"No NHL players or Nascar drivers earned $20 million during the past year", the website said.

"Made it to number 4 on the Forbes list this year", McGregor wrote on Instagram.

Forbes' list is based on known earnings such as prize money, salaries and bonuses earned between 1 June 2017 and 1 June 2018, plus endorsement estimates including sponsorship deals and appearance fees, based on "conversations with dozens of industry insiders". Mayweather reclaimed his place at the top of the list with $285 mn, Messi was at no. 2 with $111 mn, and Ronaldo third with $108 million.

Having not played much in the last 12 months owing to pregnancy and maternity leave, Williams' off-court earnings of $18 million (£13.4m) was not enough to make 2018's top 100.

Mayweather Jr. heads the world's highest-paid athletes for the fourth time in seven years, thanks to a $275 million payday for his August boxing match against UFC star Conor McGregor.

Unsurprisingly, the National Basketball Association dominates the list, with 40 players, 19 of whom are in the top 50 as opposed to the NFL's nine.

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Brazilian footballer Neymar rounded out the top five. There are 22 different countries represented in the top 100.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James ($85.5 million), tennis star Roger Federer ($77.2 million), Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry ($76.9 million), Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan ($67.3 million) and Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford ($59.5 million) round out the top 10. The top 100 earned Dollars 3.8 billion, a 23 per cent jump over previous year.

Lewis Hamilton remained the highest paid British sports star on the list in the 12th place, with earnings of $51m (£38.2m).

American golfer Phil Mickelson (47) was the oldest athlete in the top 100 with earnings of $41.3m while Greek basketballer Giannis Antetokounmpo (23) was the youngest with earnings of $35.5m.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was the only other National Basketball Association player to feature in the top 10, with earnings of $101 million.

But the most likely bet of an Australian earning a place in Forbes athletes rich list is basketballer Ben Simmons who in 2017 earned AU$14.35m at just 21 meaning he has time up his sleeve to get a few more big cheques under his belt.

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