Sport

Friday 20 April 2018

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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Cristiano Ronaldo

2. Lionel Messi - Football

Salary: $53.4m

Endorsements: $28m

Total: $81.4m

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi in action. Photo: Albert Gea/Reuters

3. LeBron James - NBA

Salary: $23.2m

Endorsements: $54m

Total: $77.2m

PANews_P-70371610-68d6-40df-9479-375b4b68160f_I1.jpg
LeBron James during the first half of Game 4 of basketball's NBA finals against Golden State Warriors (AP)

4. Roger Federer - Tennis

Salary: $7.8m

Endorsements: $60m

Total: $67.8m

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Roger Federer

 5. Kevin Durant - NBA

Salary: $20.2m

Endorsements: $36m

Total: $56.2m

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 5: Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Chesapeake Arena on May 5, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Richard Rowe/NBAE via Getty Images)

6. Novak Djokovic - Tennis

Salary: $21.8m

Endorsements: $34m

Total: $55.8m

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Novak Djokovic poses with the trophy after fighting back from being a set down to beat Andy Murray at Roland Garros in the final of the French Open. Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images

 7. Cam Newton - NFL

Salary: $41.1m

Endorsements: $12m

Total: $53.1m

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Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers

8. Phil Mickelson - Golf

Salary: $2.9m

Endorsements: $50m

Total: $52.9m

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Phil Mickelson

9. Jordan Spieth - Golf

Salary: $20.8m

Endorsements: $32m

Total: $52.8m

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Jordan Spieth walks with Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland on the 13th hole during the first round of The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village

10. Kobe Bryant - NBA

Salary: $25m

Endorsements: $25m

Total: $50m

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Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in the third quarter against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center on his final NBA appearance

11. Lewis Hamilton - Formula 1

Salary: $42m

Endorsements: $4m

Total: $46m

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Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the Monaco Grand Prix for Mercedes. Photo: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

12. Tiger Woods - Golf

Salary: $0.3m

Endorsements: $45m

Total: $45.3m

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Tiger Woods inspired Marco Penge as he cut a shot off Royal Dublin’s year-old course record with a sensational 64 in the Flogas Irish Amateur Open. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

13. Eli Manning - NFL

Salary: $37m

Endorsements: $8m

Total: $45m

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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) waves to fans leaving the field after victory over Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium, New Jersey

14. Joe Flacco - NFL

Salary: $44m

Endorsements: $0.5m

Total: $44.5m

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Quarterback Joe Flacco is key to Baltimore Ravens' hopes of pulling off an upset at New England Patriots

15. Tom Brady - NFL

Salary: $36.1m

Endorsements: $12m

Total: $44.1m

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady Photo: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

16. Floyd Mayweather - Boxing

Salary: $32m

Endorsements: $12m

Total: $44m

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Floyd Mayweather fans can meet him... for a healthy sum Photo: AP

17. Rory McIlroy - Golf

Salary: $7.6m

Endorsements: $35m

Total: $42.6m

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Rory McIlroy

18. Russell Wilson - NFL

Salary: $31.8m

Endorsements: $10m

Total: $41.8m

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Quarterback Russell Wilson will be hoping to inspire Seattle Seahawks to victory

19. Sebastian Vettel - Formula 1

Salary: $40m

Endorsements: $1m

Total: $41m

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Sebastian Vettel. Photo: Getty

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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Gareth Bale: talking up Welsh chances. Photo: PA

40. Serena Williams  - Tennis

Salary: $8.9m

Endorsements: $20m

Total: $28.9m

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Serena Williams was beaten by Garbine Muguruza of Spain

49. Wayne Rooney - Football

Salary: $20.1m

Endorsements: $6m

Total: $26.1m

PANews_P-c3f3c39d-a5cc-472b-b28e-6363f5106c4c_I1.jpg
Wayne Rooney is looking forward to working with Jose Mourinho

85. Conor McGregor - MMA

Salary: $18m

Endorsements: $4m

Total: $22m

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Conor McGregor celebrates with his family

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