Cristiano Ronaldo tops the world's highest-paid athletes in 2017

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The Real Madrid star earned $93 million to edge out LeBron James and rival Lionel Messi for the top spot on annual list for the second straight year

Cristiano Ronaldo is the world's highest-paid athlete for the second straight year, according to Forbes.

The Real Madrid forward earned $93 million — including $58m in salary and bonuses and $35m in endorsements —  over the past 12 months to retain the title.

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Ronaldo ranks above NBA superstar LeBron James ($86.2m) and Barcelona's Lionel Messi ($80m) in the top three of the annual list produced by the American publication.

Rounding out the top five are tennis great Roger Federer and basketball star Kevin Durant. The top five remained the same from last year with only James and Messi swapping places.

Other footballers who made it into the top 50 are Neymar (18), Gareth Bale (24) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (30).

The honour of being named the world's richest athlete comes as no surprise for Ronaldo, whose 121 million Facebook fans are more than any other person in the world.

On the field, he recently led Real Madrid to their second straight Champions League title, was named FIFA's player of the year for the fourth time and scored his 600th career goal.

Ronaldo is also set to be toward the top of the Forbes list for the foreseeable future after securing a contract extension with Los Blancos that will pay more than $50 million annually for the next four years.

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