Lionel Messi’s future has been the talk of world football in recent months with the Argentine confirming he will stay with FC Barcelona after initially handing in a transfer request.

The 33-year-old had informed the Spanish club that he wanted to leave by exercising a clause in his contract that would allow him to depart on a free transfer, the BBC reported. 

However, Barcelona confirmed that his €700m (£624m) release clause would have to be met and Messi decided to stay because it was “impossible” for any buyers to pay the fee and he also did not want a legal battle against the club he loves. 

With his contract expiring in the summer of 2021, Messi’s future will remain the hot topic for the gossip columns. But while his football future is up in the air, he definitely doesn’t need to worry about his financial future. 

Forbes magazine has released its rich list of the top ten highest-paid footballers in 2020 and it is Messi who leads the way ahead of great rival Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Messi becomes football’s second billionaire after Ronaldo had previously achieved the feat, says the Daily Mail, and is set to earn a total $126m (£97.7m) through salary and endorsements this year.

The superstar duo take the top two spots but who else joins them in the top ten? 

Forbes football rich list: highest-paid players of 2020

All USD to GBP conversion rates as of 15 September 

1. Lionel Messi

Teams: Barcelona and Argentina 
2020 total earnings: $126m (£97.7m)  
Salary: $92m (£71.37m) 
Endorsements: $34m (£26.37m) 

2. Cristiano Ronaldo 

Teams: Juventus and Portugal 
2020 total earnings: $117m (£90.75m)  
Salary: $70m (£54.29m) 
Endorsements: $47m (£36.45m) 

3. Neymar 

Teams: Paris St-Germain and Brazil 
Total earnings: $96m (£74.45m)  
Salary: $78m (£60.49m) 
Endorsements: $18m (£13.95m) 

4. Kylian Mbappe 

Teams: Paris Saint-Germain and France  
2020 total earnings: $42m (£32.57m)  
Salary: $28m (£21.71m) 
Endorsements: $14m (£10.85m) 

5. Mohamed Salah 

Teams: Liverpool and Egypt 
2020 total earnings: $37m (£28.69m)  
Salary: $24m (£18.61m) 
Endorsements: $13m (£10.08m) 

6. Paul Pogba

Teams: Manchester United and France 
2020 total earnings: $34m (£26.37m)  
Salary: $28m (£21.72m) 
Endorsements: $6m (£4.65m) 

7. Antoine Griezmann 

Teams: Barcelona and France 
2020 total earnings: $33m (£25.59m)  
Salary: $28m (£21.72m) 
Endorsements: $5m (£3.87m) 

8. Gareth Bale 

Teams: Real Madrid and Wales 
2020 total earnings: $29m (£22.49m) 
Salary: $23m (£17.84) 
Endorsements: $6m (£4.65m) 

9. Robert Lewandowski 

Teams: Bayern Munich and Poland 
2020 total earnings: $28m (£21.71m) 
Salary: $24m (£18.61m) 
Endorsements: $4m (£3.1m) 

10. David de Gea 

Teams: Manchester United and Spain 
2020 total earnings: £27m (£20.94m) 
Salary: $24m (£18.61m) 
Endorsements: $3m (£2.32m)

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