In this blog post, we will take a look at 25 of the world’s highest-paid athletes. We will explore what drives their wealth and how they became some of the richest people on the planet. Some of these athletes are household names, while others may be less familiar to you. But one thing is for sure – they are all extremely successful!
25 of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes
1 . Cristiano Ronaldo
He’s one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, and for good reason. Cristiano Ronaldo is a force to be reckoned with on the soccer field, and his impressive skill set has helped him achieve massive success both in Portugal and with his club team, Real Madrid. He’s also an incredible philanthropist, using his platform to raise awareness for important causes like poverty and breast cancer. In short, Ronaldo is an all-around impressive individual, and it’s no wonder he’s one of the most recognizable faces in the world of sports.
2 . LeBron James
Forbes Magazine recently announced that LeBron James is the world’s highest-paid athlete, earning an estimated $88.7 million dollars in the past year. This marks the first time that a basketball player has topped the list, and it is a well-deserved honor for James. Throughout his career, he has shown himself to be one of the most talented and hardworking athletes in the world.
On the court, he is a master of both offense and defense, capable of leading his team to victory in any situation. Off the court, he is a savvy businessman, with interests in everything from fitness apps to sports drinks. In many ways, LeBron James is the perfect role model for aspiring athletes, and his success is a testament to his dedication and commitment.
3 . Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is widely considered to be one of the best soccer players in the world, and his paychecks reflect that. In 2019, he was the highest-paid athlete in the world, earning a staggering $127 million. That figure includes his salary from his club team, Barcelona, as well as his endorsement deals with companies like Adidas and Gatorade. Messi’s success on the soccer field has translated into big bucks, and he shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
4 . Roger Federer
Roger Federer is widely considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He has won a record 20 Grand Slam titles, including an unprecedented eight Wimbledon championships. In addition to his success on the court, Federer is also one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, earning an estimated $77 million in 2020. While his accomplishments are impressive, what makes Federer truly extraordinary is his passion for the game.
He consistently displays a level of sportsmanship that is rare in today’s competitive landscape. Whether he’s hugging a young fan or congratulating his opponent after a tough match, Federer always seems to be enjoying himself. It’s this joy that has endeared him to fans around the world and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players in history.
5 . Kevin Durant
As of 2019, Kevin Durant is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes. The NBA superstar signed a two-year, $54.3 million contract extension with the Golden State Warriors in 2017, making him one of the league’s top earners. Durant has also been shrewd with his off-court earnings, signing endorsement deals with companies like Nike, Beats by Dre, and Apple. In total, Durant is estimated to be worth over $250 million. While this level of wealth may seem unattainable to most people, Durant is proof that hard work and talent can pay off handsomely.
6 . Tiger Woods
Golf legend Tiger Woods is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, earning an estimated $61.2 million in 2019 alone. Woods has achieved unparalleled success on the golf course, winning a record-tying 82 PGA Tour events and 14 major championships. He also ranks first in career prize money, with over $120 million in earnings.
However, Woods has also been plagued by personal problems and injuries in recent years, leading to a decline in his performance and popularity. Nevertheless, he remains one of the most recognizable figures in sports, and his continued success is sure to command top dollar from sponsors and fans alike.
7 . Floyd Mayweather
When it comes to making money, few athletes can match the success of Floyd Mayweather. The professional boxer has consistently been one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, and he shows no signs of slowing down. In 2015, he made a reported $300 million dollars, which is more than any other athlete in history. And he shows no signs of stopping there. Mayweather is currently undefeated, and his fights always generate a lot of interest and excitement. With his vast wealth and impressive record, it’s no wonder that Floyd Mayweather is considered one of the greatest boxers of all time.
8 . Neymar
Neymar is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes. The Brazilian soccer star earns a reported $75 million per year, making him the fourth highest-paid footballer in the world. In addition to his salary, Neymar also benefits from endorsement deals with some of the world’s biggest brands, including Nike, Red Bull, and Beats by Dre. Neymar’s on-field talents have made him a global superstar, and his off-field earnings are a testament to his immense popularity. With so much money coming in, it’s no surprise that Neymar is often considered to be one of the richest athletes in the world.
9 . Jordan Spieth
Spieth’s successful 2015 campaign made him the world’s second-highest-paid athlete, behind only Ronaldo. In total, Spieth’s earnings reached $52.8 million last year, $32.8 million of which came from sponsorships and endorsements. His on-course earnings were a relatively modest $20 million, but that still made him the highest-paid golfer in the world. This success has continued into 2016, as Spieth has already won two majors and looks poised to challenge for the calendar year Grand Slam. With his young age and immense talent, it is safe to say that Jordan Spieth is here to stay.
10 . Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world. The Jamaican sprinter earned an estimated $32 million in 2017, according to Forbes. That includes $20 million from endorsements and $12 million from prize money and appearance fees. Bolt’s endorsement deals include Puma, Virgin Media, and Gatorade. He has also appeared in commercials for Nissan, Hublot, and Visa.
In 2016, Bolt retired from professional running after winning gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter races at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. However, he continues to earn millions through his endorsements and public appearances. In fact, he is currently training to compete in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. There is no doubt that Usain Bolt is one of the most successful athletes in the world today.
11 . Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry is widely regarded as one of the best basketball players in the world. The two-time MVP has helped lead the Golden State Warriors to three NBA championships, and his shooting prowess has revolutionized the game. Off the court, Curry is known for his affable personality and love of family.
He is also one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, earning more than $80 million annually from his salary and endorsements. In addition to his on-court success, Curry has also become one of the most marketable athletes in the world, thanks to his social media following and global appeal. As he enters the peak of his career, Stephen Curry is cementing his legacy as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
12 . James Harden
James Harden is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes. The 29-year-old American basketball player earns a reported $38 million from his salary and endorsements. That puts him ahead of other top earners like Cristiano Ronaldo, LeBron James, and Lionel Messi. But what is it that makes Harden so valuable? For starters, he’s one of the best players in the NBA.
He’s a five-time All-Star and was named the league’s MVP in 2018. He’s also one of the most marketable players in the league, with endorsements from major brands like Adidas, BodyArmor, and Foot Locker. Given his on-court success and off-court appeal, it’s no surprise that James Harden is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes.
13 . Matthew Stafford
At only 30 years old, Matthew Stafford is already one of the world’s highest-paid athletes. The NFL quarterback recently signed a five-year, $135 million contract extension with the Detroit Lions, making him the highest-paid player in NFL history. Despite his huge salary, Stafford remains humble and down-to-earth.
In an interview with ESPN, he said, “I don’t play this game for the money…I’ve been very fortunate to be in the position I’m in.” Stafford has also been praised for his leadership skills and willingness to put the team first. In fact, many of his teammates have said that he is the heart and soul of the Lions. With his talent, work ethic, and determination, it is no wonder that Matthew Stafford is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes.
14 . Russell Westbrook
In 2018, Russell Westbrook became one of the world’s highest-paid athletes when he signed a record-breaking contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The deal is worth a reported $205 million over five years and makes Westbrook the highest-paid player in NBA history. It also puts him in an elite group of athletes who are earning major paychecks. In addition to his on-court success, Westbrook has also been praised for his fashion sense and his work off the court, including his philanthropy. With his new contract, Westbrook is poised to remain one of the NBA’s top stars for years to come.
15 . Josh Allen
Josh Allen is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes. The 26-year-old NFL quarterback signed a four-year, $120 million contract extension with the Buffalo Bills in 2019. He is currently the sixth highest-paid player in the league. In addition to his NFL salary, Allen also has endorsement deals with companies like Adidas, Gatorade, and Oakley. He is also a popular social media influencer, with over 2 million followers on Instagram. Allen’s rising popularity and success on the field have made him one of the most sought-after athletes in the world. And it’s safe to say that his bank account will continue to grow in the years to come. Thanks for Josh Allen!
16 . Tom Brady
Tom Brady is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes. The NFL quarterback has an annual salary of $26 million and endorsements worth tens of millions of dollars. But Brady is more than just a talented athlete; he’s also a savvy businessman. In 2015, he launched his own line of fitness and lifestyle products, called TB12. The brand includes everything from workout gear to protein shakes, and it’s all designed to help people live healthier lives.
Brady has also been involved in a number of other business ventures, including a partnership with Under Armour. And in 2017, he launched his own entertainment production company, called Religion of Sports Media. With so many irons in the fire, it’s no wonder that Brady is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes.
17 . Naomi Osaka
At just 22 years old, Naomi Osaka is already one of the biggest names in tennis. She burst onto the scene in 2018 when she defeated Serena Williams in the US Open final, becoming the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles title. Since then, she has gone on to win two more Grand Slams and become World No.1. Her success on the court has translated into big bucks off the court, and she is now one of the highest-paid athletes in the world.
According to Forbes, she earned $37.4 million in 2020, making her the highest-paid female athlete in history. And with several lucrative endorsement deals with companies like Nike and Rolex, that number is only going to go up. So whether you love her or hate her, there’s no denying that Naomi Osaka is a force to be reckoned with – both on and off the court.
18 . Gareth Bale
When it comes to sports, there are few athletes who can match the sheer talent and skill of Gareth Bale. A world-renowned soccer player, Bale has achieved countless successes on the field, cementing his reputation as one of the best players in the world. He has also been handsomely rewarded for his talents, earning a spot on Forbes’ list of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes.
With impressive salary and endorsement deals, Bale is estimated to be worth over $90 million. That’s not bad for a kid from Wales! While he may be one of the richest athletes in the world, Bale has always remained grounded, preferring to focus on his passion for soccer. For him, it’s always been about the love of the game – and that’s what makes him so special.
19 . Eden Hazard
The Belgian professional footballer who plays for the English club Chelsea and the Belgium national team, Eden Hazard, is one of the World’s highest-paid athletes. In 2017, he was ranked by Forbes as the seventh highest-paid footballer in the world with annual earnings of around $38 million.
In 2018, Eden earned a total of $47 million which made him the sixth highest-paid footballer in the world according to Forbes. And in 2019, he was once again ranked as the seventh highest-paid footballer in the world with annual earnings of $32 million. All these rankings are based on their estimated salaries and endorsements. From these rankings, it is evident that Hazard is one of the most marketable footballers in the world which has helped him to amass a large fortune.
20 . Chris Paul
As of 2019, Chris Paul is the world’s highest-paid athlete, earning an estimated $87.7 million dollars annually. The nine-time NBA All-Star has played for the New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Houston Rockets, winning numerous individual awards throughout his career. In addition to his on-court success, Paul has also been lauded for his humanitarian work, starting the Chris Paul Foundation in 2005 to help children in need. His work has earned him a reputation as one of the NBA’s most well-rounded players, both on and off the court. Thanks to his impressive skills and charitable efforts, it’s no surprise that Chris Paul is one of the richest athletes in the world.
21 . Serena Williams
Serena Williams is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world. The professional tennis player has earned more than $100 million in prize money, and her endorsement deals have brought in hundreds of millions of dollars more. But Williams isn’t just a talented player; she’s also a savvy businesswoman. In addition to her successful on-court career, she runs a clothing line, a beauty line, and a fashion label. She has also invested in several tech startups. Williams is an inspiring example of what can be achieved through hard work and determination. Regardless of whether she’s winning matches or striking business deals, she always gives it her all. And that’s something which is inspiring.
22 . Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson, who is currently signed to the Seattle Seahawks, is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes. In 2015, he signed a four-year, $87.6 million contract extension with the Seahawks, making him the highest-paid player in the NFL at that time. In 2017, he became the first NFL player to sign a deal worth $21 million per year. As of 2018, his net worth is estimated to be $45 million. Not bad for a guy who was drafted in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft! Wilson has had an impressive career thus far, leading the Seahawks to a Super Bowl victory in 2013 and being named to four Pro Bowls. There’s no doubt that he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league and he’s only getting better with age. We can’t wait to see what he does next!
23 . Virat Kohli
In 2018, Forbes magazine ranked Virat Kohli as the world’s highest-paid athlete, earning an estimated $24 million. That’s an impressive feat for any sports star, but it’s even more impressive when you consider that Kohli isn’t a household name in the United States. So just who is this cricketing superstar?
Born in Delhi, India, in 1988, Kohli started playing cricket at a young age and made his professional debut in 2006. Since then, he has established himself as one of the most successful batsmen in the world, scoring over 20,000 runs in international cricket. He’s also captain of the Indian national team and the Indian Premier League team Royal Challengers Bangalore. In other words, he’s a pretty big deal in the world of cricket.
24 . Mohamed Salah
As any football fan knows, Mohamed Salah is one of the best players in the world. The Egyptian forward has been a key player for both Liverpool and the Egyptian national team, winning numerous trophies and individual awards. In 2020, he was ranked as the fifth-highest paid athlete in the world by Forbes, with an estimated annual income of $37 million. This includes salaries, bonuses, endorsements, and other sources of income. Not bad for a player who only started his professional career a few years ago! Thanks to his skill on the pitch and his growing popularity of it, Salah is one of the most exciting athletes in the world today.
25 . Kris Bryant
Kris Bryant is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes. The third baseman for the Chicago Cubs has a net worth of $43 million. He is currently the highest-paid player in baseball, earning an annual salary of $19 million. Bryant has endorsements with companies such as Adidas, Under Armour, and Topps. He has also appeared in commercials for major brands such as Pepsi and Express. In addition to his on-field success, Bryant has also found success off the field. He has been named the National League Most Valuable Player and was a key member of the Cubs team that won the World Series in 2016. Thanks to his many accomplishments, Bryant has become one of the most popular athletes in the country.
So, what is it that sets these athletes apart? What drives their wealth and success? While there are many factors at play, we can see that a combination of talent, hard work, and business savvy have helped these stars reach the top. Are you inspired by any of them? What could you do to achieve similar success in your field? Let us know in the comments below!