Who Are The Highest Paid Sports Stars In The World?

If you’re lucky enough to be born with an unrivaled talent or skill then the world can be your oyster. Few ever make it to the upper echelons of sport but those that do can reap financial rewards that are simply staggering. 

Floyd Mayweather

The highest paid sports superstar on the planet in 2018 was Floyd Mayweather. With total earnings topping an eye-watering $285 last year, the flamboyant boxer earned most of it from the 36 minutes he spent in the ring with Conor McGregor. 

That earned him $275 with the additional $10 million coming from endorsements. And Mayweather isn’t shy about how he spends his fortune. His Instagram feed is littered with extravagant purchases including his $18m wristwatch!

Lionel Messi

Messi, the Barcelona FC superstar, gets paid $84 million in salary and bonuses from his club. Clearly, the Argentinean knows how to strike a deal as he also earns an additional $27 from endorsements around the world.

Certainly more low-key than some of his other sporting rivals, Messi isn’t known for being particularly excessive with his spending.  In fact, the craziest thing he is known to have done was buy up his neighbors houses when they made too much noise! 

Cristiano Ronaldo

Often overshadowed by Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo a take some consolation in the $108 million that he banks annually. He runs a virtual empire that includes his own range of clothing, shoes, and fragrances that help bump up his net worth by an extra $47 million a year.

He is rumored to be the new owner of Bugatti’s one-off La Voiture Noire.  That little gem is worth just over €11million (£9.5million).  

Conor McGregor

Mayweather’s rival, Conor McGregor is fourth on the sports rich list on $99 million in earnings.  He was paid significantly less than Mayweather for the 2018 bout but still pocketed $85 million. 

He successfully boosted his earnings with an additional $14 million from sponsorship deals. That includes deals with Dr. Dre Beats, Monster, Anheuser-Busch and Burger King. 

Like his fellow multi-millionaire sports stars, McGregor has also splashed out. He owns a yacht and is said to be a big fan of Lamborghini’s. 

LeBron James

He may have been pipped to the post by the boxers and footballers, but LeBron James is the highest paid basketball star in the world. Earning a whopping $85.5 million, he actually earns more from his endorsements than he gets paid. 

More than $50 million of his annual earnings are from the likes of Nike, Coco-Cola, and Beats by Dr Dre. But $30 million of that comes from Nike alone. No active player sells more of his signature trainers than LeBron. 

Despite his presence on the basketball court, Le Bron has recently gained more prominence for his social activism. In 2018 he opened a school for under-privileged children. The I Promise School houses 240 at-risk students in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.