If a list of the world’s wealthiest people were to be made, a considerable portion of this list would be occupied by the highest-paid athletes of all time. Athletes gain a lot of fame when they earn professional status in their sport. With the fame, these athletes also make a handsome amount of wealth. The wealth gets accumulated by what they earn through their career in sports, endorsements, and other lucrative financial investments. For example, most athletes often endorse popular brands for mutual growth or invest in developmental projects. Some athletes are also known to launch personal brands and products to monetize their influence.
Most highest-paid athletes of all time have been players of sports like basketball, soccer, wrestling, tennis, and racing. The following is a list of some such great personalities.
8 Lionel Messi
Lionel Andrés Messi or Leo Messi is an Argentinian football player from Rosario who has won the FIFA world player of the year not once but five times. Messi might not be the wealthiest athlete, but he is undoubtedly one of the best.
Messi has a net worth of about $400 million as of 2021. He has been part of the popular football franchise Barcelona and is involved in several endorsements. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Messi is one of the highest-earning footballers with total career earnings of about $520 million.
7 Roger Federer
Roger Federer is a Swiss athlete who has earned and maintained a respectable status as the best tennis player of all time. Several other players like Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal might be considered his fiercest competitors; however, with his game, Federer has a spot reserved in the hearts of millions of fans worldwide.
Also, Federer is part of many endorsements, including famous brands like Mercedes, Rolex, and Nike. He presently has a net worth of about $450 million.
6 Cristiano Ronaldo
The Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo is also among the best football players in the world. The footballer has an insane fan following on social media and in real life. Ronaldo is known to endorse many brands, including Nike and Tag Heuer, which earned him about $47 million annually.
Ronaldo has a net world of approximately $500 million. He is one of the highest-paid athletes in the numerous football franchises that he has played for, including Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Sporting Lisbon.
5 Mike Tyson
Michael Tyson or Mike Tyson had a burning career in the USA’s Boxing championship from 1985 to 2005. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Mike Tyson’s reputation was such that he was known as ‘Iron Mike’ and ‘Kid Dynamite’.
Back in his day, he had an impressive career earning of about $685 million. Besides endorsing well-known brands, Mike Tyson also appeared in movies like ‘The Hangover’ and ‘Mike Tyson Mysteries’. He was once worth $400 million before he filed for bankruptcy in 2003. He is now retired and still has an impressive net worth of about $3 million.
4 LeBron James
The NBA has a history of producing the highest-paid athletes of all time. LeBron James is one such NBA star on the list. In the world of national basketball, LeBron is known as ‘The King’, and has proven himself worthy of that title on countless occasions.
In the case of endorsements, he is best known for his $1 billion deal with Nike. Some other famous brands he endorses are McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and so on. Lebron James’ Career earnings sum up to about $730 million, according to Forbes. This basketball star has a net worth of about $500 million.
3 Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher is one of the highest-paid Formula 1 player of all time. Schumacher has been under critical care after a skiing accident, but he had made about $1 billion through his career earnings.
He has had his place fixed in the Forbes list since 1990 as one of the highest-paid sports personalities. This F1 champion from Germany has had endorsement deals with well-known brands like Vodafone, Marlboro, and Shell. Schumacher has a net worth of about $780 million.
2 Tiger Woods
American sportsperson Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods is known for his remarkable career in golf. Woods is also known to spend his wealth lavishly. He holds several professional golf records, including second place in Men’s Major Championships.
Woods has had to cut down on his performance due to injuries for the past few years and has been able to play only 18 PGA tour events. But his association with brand endorsements for Monster Energy, TaylorMade, and Bridgestone has helped Woods amass a great fortune. He reportedly has a net worth of about $800 million.
1 Michael Jordan
Basketball star Michael Jordan is probably one of the most famous name in the world. Likewise, he is also the highest-paid athlete in this list of outstanding personalities. His career earnings went up as high as about $1.85 billion in 2017.
Jordan has been a part of brand endorsements since 1984 for MCI, Gatorade, Upper Deck, and so on. His endorsement earnings sum up to an impressive figure of $130 million; he has a net worth of $2.1 billion.
This list of the highest-paid athletes might also include a few other famous sports personalities from across the world, like David Beckham, who has impressive career earnings of about $800 million. Another worthy name on the list is Floyd Mayweather, who made about $785 million through his remarkable boxing career.
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Sources: Forbes, LoveBelfast, Men’s Journal
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