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Messi Unveiled As World’s Highest-Paid Athlete, Followed by Lebron James, Ronaldo

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PSG and Argentina forward, Lionel Messi, has been unveiled as the world’s highest-paid athlete, with Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo made to settle for third place, reports dailystar.co.uk.

As arguably the two greatest of all-time, it is no surprise that Messi and Ronaldo are the two footballers to rake in the biggest amounts of cash. It’s not only their on-field antics that allow them to live lavish lifestyles though, with their incredible marketability allowing for various endorsements to bring in almost just as much money.

The only footballer to join Messi and Ronaldo on the top 10 list is the former’s PSG team-mate, Neymar. There are several basketball superstars raking it in, while some experienced heads from other sports have their big-money deals to thank for their growing net worth.

Forbes claim Messi made well over £100 million in pre-tax gross earnings over the last 12 months.

NBA legend, LeBron James, didn’t have a season to remember on the court as the LA Lakers missed out on the playoffs. However, the 37-year-old keeps on winning when it comes to making money.

James will have picked up a tidy pay cheque from starring in last year’s Space Jam: A New Legacy movie, more success from his YouTube talk show The Shop, and selling and re-investing in various assets.

For Ronaldo, it was a highly emotional return to Manchester United last summer, and his back pocket doesn’t seem to have taken much of a hit either, with his £500,000-per- week still paying the bills.

Now 37, the Portuguese is just as marketable as ever, boasting the most followers of anyone on Instagram with 439 million, and hundreds of millions more on his other socials. Ronaldo earns roughly the same amount on the pitch as he does off it, so even when he does decide to hang up his boots, rest assured the money isn’t going to dry up.

Neymar is clearly a forward thinking investor too, having spent around £737, 000 on buying two NFT’s from the Bored Ape Yacht Club. It’s thought Neymar now owns the most expensive of all 10,000 of the highly sought-after ape tokens, with Ape 5269 costing 189.69 ETH.

Golden State Warriors guard, Steph Curry, is the highest-paid player in the NBA after signing a contract extension last August. The three-time NBA champion makes just shy of £40 million every year thanks to his staggering on-court performances.

But the 34-year-old also clearly knows where to invest too, dabbling in NFT’s and cryptocurrency, like various other sports stars. Curry’s net worth will no doubt have received a boost from a development deal with Comcast NBCUniversal for his production company Unanimous Media.

In sixth position is Kevin Durant, another basketball icon, who earns a healthy salary being the star man for the Brooklyn Nets. But he also makes plenty of dough through his sponsorship with Nike, almost £23 million to be precise, as well as sponsorships from the likes of Coinbase and Weedmaps.

Seventh-placed Roger Federer is the undisputed GOAT of tennis. Federer hasn’t actually played a competitive match in 2022, but he’s still the seventh best-paid athlete in the world. The Swiss has deals with Uniqlo and Rolex and also invested in shoe brand ON.

Boxer, Canelo is thought to have earned around £32 million from his two pay-per-view fights before losing to Bivol.

Canelo has a number of lucrative sponsorships, but intends to build up an empire thanks to his taco restaurants and opening gas stations, while his Canelo Promotions is working with DAZN to put on fights in Mexico.

Tom Brady, who u-turned on his retirement decision, meaning he will be back in action for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2022 season, is number nine on the list. He could be forgiven for thinking seven Super Bowl rings is enough – he certainly doesn’t need the money.

To add on to his investment portfolio that includes an NFT platform, two production companies and a clothes line, Brady is also set to take up a commentator role with Fox Sports. If you were worried he might struggle in his eventual retirement, fear not, as Brady is set to earn over £300m over the next 10 years at Fox.

Nigerian-born Greek basketball superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo (Gani Adetokunbo), is the only member of the list not yet past 30. Fresh from his NBA championship success, Antetokounmpo rounds off the top 10. The Milwaukee Bucks’ two-time MVP agreed a new five-year contract in December 2020 worth a total of £186 million.

The Guardian

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UN Deputy Sec Gen Condemns Gruesome Killing of Deborah, Demands Justice

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Amina Muhammed, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, has called for justice following the killing of Deborah Yakubu in Sokoto over blasphemy.

Muhammed spoke out via her official Twitter page on Tuesday, stating that religions should not be “misinterpreted to preach violence”.

“Justice must be done for the senseless, brutal killing of the young Deborah Yakubu in Nigeria. Religions should not be misinterpreted to preach violence when they promote peace.

“My prayers are with the family and for the repose of her soul,” she tweeted.

Yakubu, a second-year student of the Sheu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, was lynched on the school premises on Thursday after classmates accused her of blasphemy.

On Monday, the Sokoto Police Command arraigned two suspects, Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci, before a Chief Magistrate’s Court in the state, for their alleged participation in the crime.

The suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges while the defence counsel, Prof. Mansur Ibrahim, applied for their bail on liberal terms, citing constitutional provisions and sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law.

The trial judge reserved the ruling on the bail application and ordered the accused to be remanded at a correctional centre.

The Punch

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AfDB’s Adesina Not Contesting for Presidency – Report

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The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina, will not be contesting the Presidency of Nigeria.

A support group had purchased and submitted the N100m Presidential form of the All Progressives Congress for the top banker last week.

Some had also reported that Adesina visited Mamman Daura, the influential nephew of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) last week to seek his support.

But The PUNCH confirmed that Adesina will not be taking part in the Presidential screening of the APC slated for May 23.

Adesina’s office is expected to issue a statement in a few hours distancing himself from Nigeria’s partisan politics.

The AfDB regulations bar its President from partisan politics.

Specifically, Paragraph 2 of Article 38 of the agreement establishing AfDB, titled ‘Prohibition of Political Activity; the International Character of the Bank’, states that “The Bank, its President, Vice Presidents, officers and staff shall not interfere in the political affairs of any member (country); nor shall they be influenced in their decisions by the political character of the member (country) concerned.”

Paragraph 3 of the article states that “The President, Vice Presidents, officers and staff of the Bank, in discharge of their offices, owe their duty entirely to the Bank and to no other authority.”

Similarly, the AfDB code of conduct bars its executive from partisan politics. Section 10 of the Code reads: “Although Executive Directors are elected representatives of governments from their constituencies, they shall during their tenure of office as executive directors refrain from participating in active politics in their home countries or elsewhere.”

Should Adesina seek to run for the office of President of Nigeria, he would need to resign his current position permanently, a risk it was learnt the top banker was not willing to take.

There are at least 25 other aspirants running for President on the platform of the APC.

Some of them include APC stalwart, Bola Tinubu; Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; former Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi; Senate President Ahmad Lawan; oil mogul, Tein Jack-Rich; Senator Ajayi Boroffice; Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State; Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State and many others.

The Punch

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N80bn Fraud: EFCC Arrests Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris

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Nigeria’s Accountant-General, Ahmed Idris, has been arrested over alleged money laundering and diversion of public funds, according to a report by PREMIUM TIMES.

According to the report, Idris was intercepted in Kano by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday evening and flown to Abuja, the nation’s capital, for interrogation.

Sources said the EFCC has for sometime now been investigating a case of diversion of at least N80 billion in public funds which was allegedly laundered through some bogus contracts.

The companies used in laundering the funds have allegedly been linked to family members and associates of the accountant-general, investigators said.

The sources further said that after progress was made in the investigation, Idris was summoned repeatedly for interrogation but he failed to honour the invitations.

“We kept inviting him but he kept dodging us,” one of our sources said. “We were left with no choice than to keep him under watch and arrest him.”

However, a top EFCC confirmed the development but asked not to be named because he had no permission to discuss the matter with the media.

President Muhammed Buhari appointed Mr Idris accountant-general on June 25, 2015.

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