Wednesday 26 April 2017

Rory McIlroy and Conor McGregor makes Forbes list of the 100 highest paid athletes on Earth

Conor McGregor is the only MMA star on the list and Rory McIlroy is not the top golfer
Conor McGregor is the only MMA star on the list and Rory McIlroy is not the top golfer

Forbes has released the 100 top earning athletes in sport, with all eyes on who makes it to number one after being paid the most over that last year.

Together, the 100 leading sportsmen and sportswomen earned a cumulative $3.1bn through salary and endorsements. Having seen the top of the list dominated by golfer Tiger Woods and boxer Floyd Mayweather for the past 15 years, a new name has reached the summit and for the first time ever, it’s a footballer.

Fresh from winning the Champions League final with Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo can now add the accolade of being paid more in salary and endorsements than any other athlete on the planet.

Not only does Ronaldo boast the highest salary, but he also benefits greatly from extremely lucrative sponsorship deals from the likes of Nike, Tag Heuer and Herbalife.

Only two footballers make it onto the list, with Ronaldo’s great rival Lionel Messi following him up in second, while the rest of the top 20 is made up of stars from the NFL, NBA, formula 1, golf, tennis and boxing.

Both Mayweather and Woods still reach the top 20 despite the former retiring last year and the latter not playing since August last year due to his latest back injury.

Unfortunately for the world’s fastest man in Usain Bolt, he finds himself down in 32nd but could well find himself up the order next year after another Olympic year in Rio,.

Rory McIlroy also makes the list in 17th while the pride of Crumlin, Conor McGregor features in 85th. He is the only MMA star in the top 100.

Here's a breakdown of the Top 20 (and selected others):

1. Cristiano Ronaldo - Football

Salary: $56m

Endorsements: $32m

Total: $88m

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2. Lionel Messi - Football

Salary: $53.4m

Endorsements: $28m

Total: $81.4m

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3. LeBron James - NBA

Salary: $23.2m

Endorsements: $54m

Total: $77.2m

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4. Roger Federer - Tennis

Salary: $7.8m

Endorsements: $60m

Total: $67.8m

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 5. Kevin Durant - NBA

Salary: $20.2m

Endorsements: $36m

Total: $56.2m

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6. Novak Djokovic - Tennis

Salary: $21.8m

Endorsements: $34m

Total: $55.8m

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 7. Cam Newton - NFL

Salary: $41.1m

Endorsements: $12m

Total: $53.1m

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8. Phil Mickelson - Golf

Salary: $2.9m

Endorsements: $50m

Total: $52.9m

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9. Jordan Spieth - Golf

Salary: $20.8m

Endorsements: $32m

Total: $52.8m

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10. Kobe Bryant - NBA

Salary: $25m

Endorsements: $25m

Total: $50m

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11. Lewis Hamilton - Formula 1

Salary: $42m

Endorsements: $4m

Total: $46m

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12. Tiger Woods - Golf

Salary: $0.3m

Endorsements: $45m

Total: $45.3m

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13. Eli Manning - NFL

Salary: $37m

Endorsements: $8m

Total: $45m

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14. Joe Flacco - NFL

Salary: $44m

Endorsements: $0.5m

Total: $44.5m

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15. Tom Brady - NFL

Salary: $36.1m

Endorsements: $12m

Total: $44.1m

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16. Floyd Mayweather - Boxing

Salary: $32m

Endorsements: $12m

Total: $44m

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17. Rory McIlroy - Golf

Salary: $7.6m

Endorsements: $35m

Total: $42.6m

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18. Russell Wilson - NFL

Salary: $31.8m

Endorsements: $10m

Total: $41.8m

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19. Sebastian Vettel - Formula 1

Salary: $40m

Endorsements: $1m

Total: $41m

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20. Philip Rivers - NFL

Salary: $37.5m

Endorsements: $0.45m

Total: $38m

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Selected others:

25. Gareth Bale - Football

Salary: $24.9m

Endorsements: $11m

Total: $35.9m

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40. Serena Williams  - Tennis

Salary: $8.9m

Endorsements: $20m

Total: $28.9m

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49. Wayne Rooney - Football

Salary: $20.1m

Endorsements: $6m

Total: $26.1m

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85. Conor McGregor - MMA

Salary: $18m

Endorsements: $4m

Total: $22m

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