Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo banked $93 million over the past 12 years to be crowned the king of world’s highest-paid athlete for the second straight year. Forbes magazine released its annual ranking of world’s highest-paid athletes on Wednesday. Before the Madrid talisman striker, the best-paid sports star was either Tiger Woods or Floyd Mayweather for 15-years.
Ronaldo calendar year was the most successful of his career, with being named as FIFA’s World Player for the fourth time to scoring his 600th career goal to leading his team to win back-to-back Champions League title. He literally won everything a player can dream of. The Portuguese striker also secured a four-year contract of $50million with the club.
He also has endorsement deals with Nike, Tag Heuer, Herbalife, Abbot Labs and others. Amidst the endorsement and his salary is his growing line of CR7 branded products which include shoes, underwear, fragrance, jeans and a line of hotels.
The second spot was given to LeBron James, who entered the NBA in 2003 out of high school and within three established himself as the dominating force in the game. He won four MVP but it was not until the 2016-17 season that James had NBA’s top salary.
In July, he signed a $100million contract extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers after leading them to their first NBA title in franchise history. Rounding up the top five highest-paid athletes are Lionel Messi ($80 million), Roger Federer ($64 million) and Kevin Durant ($60.6million). With the top five being the same this year and with only James and Messi swapping places there is a surprise entry of Virat Kohli at number 89.
The Indian skipper of cricket team who is already being compared to the Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar earned about $22million last year. Kohli, amongst the highest paid player in the Indian Premier League thanks to his whopping $2,3 million salary also earned about a million dollar from his national team play.
With having a vast variety of athletes in the list a question that arises is of gender inequality. The list just has only one woman athlete, Serena Williams, in the top 100 athletes of Forbes. The tennis start came in the 51 spot with $51 million.
Here is the top 10 list:
- Cristiano Ronaldo – football ($93m/£72.05m)
- LeBron James – basketball ($86.2m/£66.79m)
- Lionel Messi – football ($80m/£61.98m)
- Roger Federer – tennis ($64m/£49.58m)
- Kevin Durant – basketball ($60.6m/£46.95m)
- Andrew Luck – American football ($50m/£38.74m)
- Rory McIlroy – golfer ($50m/£38.74m)
- Stephen Curry – basketball ($47.3m/£36.64m)
- James Harden – basketball ($46.6m/£36.10m)
- Lewis Hamilton – formula 1 ($46m/£35.64m)
See the full list here : https://www.forbes.com/athletes/list/#tab:overall