Best paid athletes in the world

The world’s top 100 sports men and women earned a combine £1.6 billion last year. The top 10 best paid athletes in the world covers a variety of sports including boxing, football, NFL, Basketball and golf.
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NFL star Matt Ryan is the tenth highest earner with an annual salary of $42 million. The majority of that is made up from a $28 million sign on fee with the Atlanta Falcons.


Tennis star Rafael Nadal makes a total of $44.5 million a year, $30 million of which is made up from endorsements. The rest is winnings from the ATP Tour.


Phil Mickelson is the first golfer on the list. As with Nadal, the majority of his $53.2 million annual earnings is made up from endorsements. The remainder comes from winnings on the PGA Tour.


The 7 times Wimbledon champion Roger Federer is 7th on our list with annual earnings of $56.2 million, $1.5 million of which came when he finished as runner up to Novak Djokovic in his 25th Grand Slam final.


With annual earnings of $61.2 million, Tiger Woods is the highest earning golfer in the world. With sponsors like EA Sports and Nike, Woods can afford a few bad rounds as he makes $55 million a year just from endorsements.


Kobe Bryant is the 5th highest earner on our list. His $61.5 million annual earnings are split equally between endorsements and wages from the NBA.


The FC Barcelona and Argentina talisman Lionel Messi is the fourth highest earning athlete in the world and the second highest earning footballer. He takes home $64.1 million a year.


LeBron James is the highest earner from the NBA. His $72.3 million a year earnings puts him third on this list. Most of the money comes from sponsorships deals with multinational firms like Nike, McDonald's and Coca-Cola.


You might have expected Cristiano Ronaldo to be at the top of the chart but his $80 million earnings put him $25 million behind the world’s highest paid athlete.


Perhaps it’s fitting that the athletes who risk a little more than reputation earn more than the rest. Our number one earner is boxer Floyd Mayweather who commands no less than $105 million.

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