A list of the 100 highest-paid sports athletes over the past year has been revealed, with Cristiano Ronaldo topping the rankings.
It won’t be a surprise to see the Al-Nassr striker and former Man United superstar at the top of the money charts, given his eye-watering £175m-a-year contract with the Saudi Arabian team, plus his many other lucrative sponsorships. .
According to the new list of sportsRonaldo raked in £218 million ($275 million), which included £47 million from endorsements from the likes of Nike, Herbalife, Armani, Tag Heuer, DAZN and PokerStars, not to mention his own CR7 brand.
Ronaldo was already one of the highest-paid athletes in the world before moving to Saudi Arabia and his staggering salary in the Middle East has maintained his place at the top of the tree.
The Portuguese striker has been battling for supremacy with Lionel Messi for much of his career, and while he may not have won as many Ballon d’Or titles as the Argentine, he can certainly boast greater wealth.
Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed the title of the world’s highest-earning athlete after a new list of the highest-paid sports stars was revealed.
Ronaldo earns around £175m a year at Saudi team Al-Nassr following his move to the Middle East in 2022.
The World Cup winner, now at MLS side Inter Miami, isn’t even second to Ronaldo on the list. That spot belongs to LIV Golf rebel John Rahm.
The Spaniard earned £144 million ($181 million) from his winnings last year, having lifted the 2023 Masters before making the surprise move to the controversial Saudi-funded breakaway LIV Golf league, which is believed to have paid him around of £400 million.
Messi, on the other hand, came third, having earned much less than Ronaldo and Rahm (£52 million ($65 million), but instead earned more in endorsements, giving him roughly the same amount.
He took home a total of £100 million over the last year as he and Ronaldo formed a group of four footballers in the top ten.
The other two were Kylian Mbappé, the PSG superstar who is likely to join Real Madrid this summer, and Neymar, both Messi’s former teammates in Paris.
Mbappé raked in around £80 million in earnings, along with £20 million from endorsement deals and sponsorships.
LIV Golf dropout Jon Rahm, who won the Masters last year, is ranked No. 2, ahead of World Cup winner Lionel Messi.
Kylian Mbappé was among the four footballers included in the top ten of the list
Neymar, on the other hand, earned more from his partnerships, around £28 million, but less from his overall earnings, which amounted to around £68 million.
But just above both players, in fourth place, was Los Angeles Lakers basketball star LeBron James, who was paid around £36 million of his earnings, but his endorsement deals are what separates him from the rest of his rivals.
The NBA star has the most endorsement money of the entire list, with £64 million coming from his off-court deals, bringing his total earnings to £99 million.
While football players dominated the top ten, so did James’ NBA teammates.
Max Verstappen was the highest-paid Formula One star, ahead of Lewis Hamilton, taking home around £60 million.
Golf star Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were also included in the list below Rahm
Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry came in at No. 7 with a total of £78 million over the past year, followed by Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks (£70 million) and Kevin Durant of the Phoenix Suns ( £68 million).
Completing the top ten was Kansas City Chiefs NFL star Patrick Mahomes, who earned around £67 million.
Many fans will be wondering which other sports stars made it to the top 100 and which stars held the top spots in their respective sports.
The number one winner of Formula One was Max Verstappen. He earned £56 million in earnings and just £4 million in sponsorship money, to defeat his rival Lewis Hamilton, who earned a total of £49 million.
Mohamed Salah (left) and Liverpool’s Erling Haaland were the other Premier League names to reach the top 100
The highest-paid star in the boxing world, for its part, was Canelo Álvarez. The Mexican fighter is considered the pound-for-pound king of the sport and one of the best boxers, and that is reflected in his earnings of £48 million, plus deals outside the ring that take his total to £52 million.
Behind him in boxing were Anthony Joshua (£44m) and Tyson Fury (£32m).
The highest-paid tennis player was Novak Djokovic, who was much further down the list in 46th place, having earned a total of £36 million last year.
Elsewhere, there were a handful of Premier League footballers spread across the list of 100 athletes.
In 18th place was Manchester City striker Erling Haaland, who earned approximately £50 million in total, while Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah came in at 23rd with £44 million.