Rory McIlroy and Conor McGregor makes Forbes list of the 100 highest paid athletes on Earth
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
2. Lionel Messi - Football
3. LeBron James - NBA
4. Roger Federer - Tennis
5. Kevin Durant - NBA
6. Novak Djokovic - Tennis
7. Cam Newton - NFL
8. Phil Mickelson - Golf
9. Jordan Spieth - Golf
10. Kobe Bryant - NBA
11. Lewis Hamilton - Formula 1
12. Tiger Woods - Golf
13. Eli Manning - NFL
14. Joe Flacco - NFL
15. Tom Brady - NFL
16. Floyd Mayweather - Boxing
17. Rory McIlroy - Golf
18. Russell Wilson - NFL
19. Sebastian Vettel - Formula 1
20. Philip Rivers - NFL
25. Gareth Bale - Football
40. Serena Williams - Tennis
49. Wayne Rooney - Football
85. Conor McGregor - MMA
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