Messi joins exclusive club of sporting billionaires

Lionel Messi
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Updated 16 September 2020

Messi joins exclusive club of sporting billionaires

  • Forbes' top 10 earning players made a combined $570 million this season

PARIS: Lionel Messi may have had to stay put at Barcelona but the Argentine legend did succeed in joining one new club this year — the one reserved for sporting billionaires, according to Forbes magazine.

The Argentine striker's career earnings of over $1 billio (€840 million) places the six-time Ballon d'Or winner in a group of mega-wealthy sports figures containing just Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather and his great rival on the pitch, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Forbes said that in 2020 Messi was the best paid footballer in the world with an income of $126 million from his Barca salary ($92 million for the 2020/2021 season) and $34 million from sponsors and other sources.

The 33-year-old knocked Juventus forward Ronaldo ($117 million) off the top of the football salary chart with Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar ($96 million) in third place.

Forbes' top 10 earning players made a combined $570 million this season, a jump of 11 percent despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic to European leagues and the global economy.

Michael Jordan is also in the billionaire's club but the basketball legend's fortune has largely come after retirement through his longstanding contract with Nike and acquisition of NBA franchise Charlotte Hornets.

Messi remains at Barcelona this season after conceding defeat in his attempt to leave without triggering his €700 million release.

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Lebanese footballer dies of bullet wound

Updated 18 September 2020

Lebanese footballer dies of bullet wound

  • Mohamed Atwi, 32, played as a midfielder for a number of Lebanese clubs and won the national league three times with Beirut’s Ansar, his club for almost a decade
  • Tributes poured in for the player, who was also capped three times for his country

BEIRUT: A prominent Lebanese footballer has died of a bullet wound sustained last month during a funeral for one of the victims of the Beirut port blast, his club said Friday.
Mohamed Atwi, 32, played as a midfielder for a number of Lebanese clubs and won the national league three times with Beirut’s Ansar, his club for almost a decade.
“A sad day for sport... a great loss for Lebanese football,” Wael Chehayeb, an official with his latest club Al-Akhaa Al-Ahly, posted on social media.
Tributes poured in for the player, who was also capped three times for his country.
Atwi was hit in the head by a bullet as he walked on a street in a Beirut neighborhood last month.
Initial reports suggested he was struck by a falling bullet fired in the air from a nearby procession mourning one of the firefighters killed in the August 4 port explosion.
Atwi’s family however has demanded a full investigation into the circumstances of his death, over which no arrests have been made.
Shooting in the air for celebrations and funerals is common in Lebanon despite recurring injuries from falling bullets.