Who are the Highest Paid Athletes in the World?

Who are the Highest Paid Athletes in the World?

- February 17, 2016

They call him ‘Money’ for a reason. In the 2015 list of Highest Paid Athletes in the World released by Forbes Magazine, Floyd Mayweather Jr. ranks number one with $300 million worth of pay. Mayweather had $32.6 million more earnings than the next three athletes combined.

Mayweather reportedly earned over $200 million from his fight against Manny Pacquiao. While their historic fight generated almost $600 million in revenue, Pacquaio followed Mayweather in the list with $148 million worth of winnings.

Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo came in third with $52.6 million worth of sports salary. On the other hand, Ronaldo earned more dollars ($15 million) in endorsements compared to Mayweather and Pacquaio. Ronaldo has endorsement deals under Nike, Armani, KFC, Tag Heuer and Emirates, among many others.

Fellow soccer legend Lionel Messi and tennis ace Roger Federer followed Ronaldo in the list with $51.8 million and $9 million in sports earnings respectively. With Lebron James ranking number six on the list, the three major sports in the United States – American football, baseball  and basketball  – failed to make the top five money makers in sports.

Highest Paid Female Athletes

Only two women made it to the list – both were tennis players. Maria Sharapova ranked 26 in the list at $29.7 million. Serena Williams trailed a little behind Sharapova at $24.6 million, but she placed 47 in the overall rankings.

There were other female athletes who earned millions in 2015, but did not make it to the overall list. Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki earned a total of $14.6 million in winnings and endorsements. Wozniacki was also the first athlete to endorse Godiva chocolates. Auto racing driver Danica Patrick had $13.9 million worth of earnings with GoDaddy as her main sponsor. Patrick has been featured in several Super Bowl advertisements, endorsing GoDaddy.

Forbes Magazine reported that over the course of 2015, the top-paid athletes in the world had $3.2 billion worth of combined earnings, up by 17%.

100 Highest Paid Athletes in the World

This list shows that the biggest dollars undeniably go to boxing, soccer and basketball. With the number of big sporting events in 2016 and the remarkable industry's earnings, sunny days are coming for sports betting enthusiasts. It's high time you take advantage of sports betting bonuses available online! 

RankAthletePayWinnings/SalaryEndorsementsSport
1Floyd Mayweather Jr.$300M$285M$15MBoxing
2Manny Pacquiao$160M$148M$12MBoxing
3Cristiano Ronaldo$79.6M$52.6M$27MAssociation Football
4Lionel Messi$73.8M$51.8M$22MAssociation Football
5Roger Federer$67M$9M$58MTennis
6Lebron James$64.8M$20.8M$44MBasketball
7Kevin Durant$54.2$19.1M$35MBasketball
8Phil Mickelson$50.8M$2.8M$48 MGolf
9Tiger Woods$50.6M$0.6 M$50 MGolf
10Kobe Bryant$49.5M$23.5M$26MBasketball
11Ben Roethlisberger$48.9M$46.4M$2.5MAmerican Football
12Rory McIlroy$48.3M$16.3M$32MGolf
13Novak Djokovic$48M$17.2M$31MTennis
14Zlatan Ibrahimovic$39.1M$33.1M$6MAssociation Football
15Lewis Hamilton$39M$36M$3MRacing
16Ndamukong Suh$38.6M$38.2M$400KAmerican Football
17Fernando Alonso$35.5M$34M$1.5MRacing
18Gareth Bale$35M$25.5M$9.5MAssociation Football
19Jon Lester$34.1M$33.7M$400KBaseball
20Derrick Rose$33.9M$18.9M$15MBasketball
21Sebastian Vettel$33M$32M$1MRacing
22Rafael Nadal$32.5M$4.5M$28MTennis
23Mahendra Singh Dhoni$31M$4M$27MCricket
24Neymar da Silva Santos Jr.$31M$14M$17MAssociation Football
25Carmelo Anthony$30.5M$22.5M$8MBasketball
26Maria Sharpova$29.7M$6.7M$23MTennis
27Carson Palmer$29M$28.5M$0.5MAmerican Football
28James Rodriguez$29M$24.5M$4.5MAssociation Football
29J.J. Watt$27.9M$20.9M$7MAmerican Football
30Robinson Cano$27.6M$24.1M$3.5MBasketball
31Dwayne Wade$27.2M$15.2M$12MBasketball
32Peyton Manning$27M$15M$12MAmerican Football
33Kimi Raikkonen$27M$25M$2MRacing
34Clayton Kershaw$26.9M$25.7M1.2MBaseball
35Wayne Rooney$26.9M$19.9M$7MAssociation Football
36Gerald McCoy$26.7M$26.5M$150KAmerican Football
37Chris Paul$26.1M$20.1M$6MBasketball
38Radamel Falcao$25.9M$21.9M4MAssociation Football
39Albert Pujols$25.9M$23.4M$2.5MBaseball
40Ryan Howard$25.6M$25M$0.6MBaseball
41Dwight Howard$25.5M$21.5M$4MBasketball
42Cliff Lee$25.2M$25M$200KBaseball
43Miguel Cabrera$25.1M$22.1M$3MBaseball
44Amar'e Stoudemire$25M$22M$3MBasketball
45Sergio Agüero-$16.5M-Association Football
46Blake Griffin$24.7M$17.7M$7MBasketball
47Serena Williams$24.6M$11.6M$13MTennis
48Prince Fielder$24.3M$24M$300KBaseball
49Joe Johnson$24.2M$23.2M$1MBasketball
50Joe Mauer$24M$23M$1MBaseball
51CC Sabathia$23.9M$23M$0.9MBaseball
52Chris Bosh$23.8M$20.8M$3MBasketball
53Zack Greinke$23.7M$23.7M$50KBaseball
54Eli Manning$23.7M$15.7M$8MAmerican Football
55Dale Earnhardt, Jr.$23.6M$14.6M$9MRacing
56Justin Verlander$23.4M$22.7M$0.8MBaseball
57Andy Dalton$23.3M$22.3M$1MAmerican Football
58Masahiro Tanaka$23M$22M$1MBaseball
59Mark Teixeira$23M$22.5M$0.5MBaseball
60Felix Hernandez$22.9M$22.7M$200KBaseball
61Cole Hamels$22.7M$22.5M$200MBaseball
62Jimmie Johnson$22.7M$16.2M$6.5MRacing
63Wladimir Klitschko$22.5M$19M$3.5MBoxing
64Andy Murray$22.3M$6.3M$16MTennis
65Matt Kemp$22.2M$21M$1.2MBaseball
66LeSean McCoy$22.1M$21.3M$0.9MAmerican Football
67Drew Brees$22M$11M$11MAmerican Football
68Tony Romo$22M$17M$5MFootball
69Adrian Gonzalez$21.5M$21.1M$400KBaseball
70Jacoby Ellsbury$21.4M$21.1M$300KBaseball
71Tyron Smith$21.4M$21.1M$250KFootball
72Deron Williams21.3M$19.8M$1.5MBasketball
73Usain Bolt$21M$15K$21MTrack
74Luis Suarez$21M$16.5M$4.5MAssociation Football
75Matt Cain$20.8M$20.4M$400KBaseball
76David Wright$20.8M$20M$0.8MBaseball
77Carl Crawford$20.7M$20.4M$300KBaseball
78Jayson Werth$20.6M$20.4M$200KBaseball
79Cesc Fabregas$20.3M$15.3M$5MAssociation Football
80Hanley Ramirez$20.3M$20M$300KBaseball
81Russell Westbrook-$16.7M-Basketball
82Justin Rose$20.2M$8.2M$12MGolf
83Yaya Touré$20M$17M$3MAssociation Football
84Rudy Gay$19.9M$19.3M$0.6MBasketball
85Jordan Spieth$19.8M$8.8M$11MGolf
86Adam Wainwright$19.8M$19.7M$150KBaseball
87Frank Lampard$19.7M$15.7M$4MAssociation Football
88Kevin Love$19.7M$15.7M$4MBasketball
89David Ortiz$19.7M$15.7M$4MBaseball
90Eden Hazard$19.6M$16.1M$3.5MAssociation Football
91Alex Smith$19.6M$19.1M$0.5MAmerican Football
92Kei Nishikori$19.5M$4.5M$15MTennis
93Devin McCourty$19.3M$19.1M$250KAmerican Football
94Mesut Ozil$19.3M$12.8M$6.5MAssociation Football
95Aaron Rodgers$19.1M$11.6M$7.5MAmerican Football
96Billy Horschel$19M$16M$3MGolf
97Jeremy Lin$18.9M$14.9M$4MBasketball
98Maurkice Pouncey$18.9M$18.8M$100KAmerican Football
99Max Scherzer$18.9M$18.7M$150KBaseball
100James Harden$18.8M$14.8M$4MBasketball
Sam Goode

Sam Goode

Sam Goode’s interest in keeping up with the ‘bleeding edge’ of technology has kept him working in the digital marketing industry for over six years. Aside from searching for opportunities to increase his online marketing knowledge, Sam also scours the Internet for useful bonuses and coupon codes that he can use to fuel his love for photography. During his free time, he watches professional photo retouching tutorials in between streaming his favourite TV shows. Fun fact: Sam has never met a cupcake he didn't like.

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