The Argentinean magician is widely regarded as the world's best player, so it's perhaps only fitting that he takes home the world's biggest pay packet: an eye-watering €33m-a-year once bonuses and extras have been taken into account.
Messi's onetime Barcelona team-mate Samuel Eto'o wins the award for the highest salary following his mega-bucks move to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala last summer. The Cameroon international clears a cool €20m-a-year.
Following his successful contract negotiations last year, Manchester United star Wayne Rooney is the highest ranking Premier League star on the list.
The brilliant Barcelona and Argentina football wizard has been tipped to earn a jaw-dropping £27.4m (about N6.8 billion) this year from wages, bonuses, sponsorships and endorsements.
His annual £13m salary gets topped up nicely through a number of deals with leading global brands, including Adidas and Pepsi, and it seems like the sky is the limit for the Argentine.
Here's the Top 20 list in full:
1) Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 0Annual salary €10.5m / Total income including bonuses and extras €33m
2) David Beckham (LA Galaxy) €4.8m / €31.5m
3) Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) €13m / €29.2m
4) Samuel Eto'o (Anzhi Makhachkala) €20m / €23.3m
5) Wayne Rooney (Manchester Utd) €13.8m / €20.6m
6) Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) €12.5m / €18.8m
7) Yaya Toure (Manchester City) €13.8m / €17.6m
8) Fernando Torres (Chelsea) €10.8m / €16.7m
9) Kaka (Real Madrid) €10m / €15.5m
10) Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich) €10m / €14.3m
11) Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan) €9m / €14m
12) Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern) €10m / €13.9m
13) Neymar (Santos) €7m / €13.8m
14) Nicolas Anelka (Shanghai Shenhua) €8.6m / €13m
15) Frank Lampard (Chelsea) €8.2m / €12.9m
16) David Silva (Manchester City) €9.4m / €12.8m
17) Didier Droga (Chelsea) €7.7m / €12.6m
18) Dario Conca (Guangzhou Evergrande) €10.6m / €12.5m
19) Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus) €5m / €11.7m
20) Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich) €10m / €11.6m