Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi tops the list of the world’s highest paid athletes, earning $127m in the past 12 months.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather, who was last year’s highest earner, has dropped off the list in the ranking.
Meanwhile, Serena Williams is the only woman in the top 100, earning $29.2m.
Former heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua and five-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton are the highest-earning British athletes, resting at 13th on $55m.
Forbes calculated the athletes’ earnings by summing up their prize money, salaries, and endorsements between June 2018 and June 2019.
The American business magazine list the tops 100 athletes from 25 countries and their $4bn (£3,1bn) combined earnings are up to five per cent from the last year when Mayweather was first with $285m.
Mayweather last fights since August 2017 was a display boxing bout against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in December.
However, Athletes are to earn a minimum of $25m to make this year’s Forbes’ list.
The Barcelona star is the second footballer to top the rankings after Ronaldo and stands as the eighth different athlete to take the number one spot since the rankings began in 1990.
Although, it is the first time that footballers have ranked as the top three earners in sports.