Who is the best-paid athlete in 2017? Second to entertainers, sports persons are among the best-paid individuals worldwide, mainly because of their influence and the international acclaim they attract while on the field. Recent statistics indicate that the top 100 best-paid athletes in the world grossed approximately two billion dollars in 2014, courtesy of the hefty salaries that they bring home. This is impressive, considering that most of them play once or twice per week. Sports endorsements from corporates, advertisements, and merchandise sales are other sources of incomes that contribute to the wealth and celebrity status many athletes enjoy to date. According to the recent listing by Forbes magazine, the top 10 best highest paid athletics in 2017 are:
10. Matt Ryan (Football)
Matthew Thomas “Matt” Ryan (born May 17, 1985) is an American football quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). After his college football stint for Boston College, he was drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft as the third overall pick in 2008. Since then, he has become one of the best passers in the league and won MVP and other honors for his invaluable contribution on the field. Currently he is the tenth best-paid athlete in 2017, earning approximately 42 million dollars as salary per year. He also gets advertisement revenue and 1.8 million in endorsements.
9. Rafael Nadal (Tennis)
For tennis lovers, Rafael Nadal is the most influential and successful athletes in the niche because of his unmatched skills. Nicknamed “The King of Clay,” Rafael “Rafa” Nadal Parera was born in 3 June 1986 is Spain and is widely regarded as one of the fastest and greatest tennis players of all time. Even though the 14.5 million Nadal earns as salary is paltry compared to Matt’s 42 million; he gets a whopping 32 million dollars as endorsements annually. This makes him the ninth richest athlete in 2017, with a salary of 44.5 million.
8. Phil Mickelson (Golf)
For years, many people have considered golf a sport of the rich. Whilst some players refute this thought, there is a degree of truth to it considering the hefty amounts established golfers like Phil Mickelson bring home annually. Now 40 years old, Phil is a renowned American professional golfer from Sand Diego California. Since his debut as a professional, he has participated in all major golfing events and championships, winning three Masters titles (2004, 2006, and 2010), an open championship (2013), a PGA championship (2005), and 42 events in the PGA tour. Apart from fame, his success on the golf course wins him a whopping 53.2 million dollars yearly (5.2 million as salary and 48 million as endorsements). This makes him the eighth richest globally.
7. Roger Federer (Tennis)
Currently ranked as the world’s number two professional tennis player, Roger Federer is also one of the top 10 best highest paid athletics in 2017. A bitter rival of Rafael Nadal, Roger is an established tennis player. He has featured in approximately 25 single Grand Slam finals for men. He has won many tennis awards. He also holds several tennis records, many of which have cemented his place among the greatest players of all time in the niche. Every year, Roger Federer earns around 56.2 million dollars (4.2 million as salary and 52 million as endorsements), making him the seventh richest athlete.
6. Tiger Woods (Golf)
Even though controversial, Tiger Woods has made a significant contribution to the golfing industry since his debut as a professional at age 20. Now 40 years old, Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods is one of the most successful golfers of all time, and the sixth best-paid athlete in 2017. Every year, Tiger takes home 61.2 million (6.2 million as salary and 55 million as endorsements).
5. Kobe Bryant (Basketball)
Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the United States of America (USA) and Europe. It is also one of the most lucrative professions, with experienced athletes such as Kobe Bryant raking approximately 30.5 million dollars as annual salary and winnings and approximately 31 million dollars as endorsements. With a combined gross salary of 61.5 million dollars, this 15-time member of the All-NBA team, 17-time All-Star, 12-time All-Defensive team member, and Lakers legend is the fifth best-paid athlete in 2017. Kobe has a charming character and is one of the most marketable basketball players
4. Lionel Messi (Soccer)
Lionel Messi, born Lionel Andres “Leo” Messi Cuccittini on 24 June 1987 is a 27-year-old Argentine who plays a forward for Argentina national team and Spanish club FC Barcelona. Lionel Messi is a FIFA World Player and Ballon d’Or Award winner. He has also received nominations for several prestigious awards and as of November 2014, is La Liga’s all-time scorer. Rated as one of the best soccer players of all time, Lionel Messi’s prowess on the field has brought him fame and made him an idol of millions of aspiring football players. With an annual salary of $64.7 million dollars (41.7 million as salary and 23 million as endorsement), Messi is the fourth best-paid athlete in 2017.
3. LeBron James (Basketball)
LeBron James is a 6 feet 8 inch professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is the best-paid basket baller in the worlds and the third best-paid athlete in the world, raking approximately 72.3 million dollars annually (19.3 million dollars salary and 53 million dollar as endorsements.) Since his debut as a forward and power forward a few years ago, LeBron has won four Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, two NBA championships, and two Olympic gold medals among many other prestigious accolades. He has also features in 10 All-NBA teams, 11 NBA All-Star teams, and 6 All-Defensive teams. Currently he is the all-time scorer for Cleveland Cavaliers.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Soccer)
Many individuals know and remember Cristiano Ronaldo for his successful football stint as a teen for the English soccer team, Manchester United. He has also enjoyed a successful career at Real Madrid, winning many loyal followers and earning a decent salary. Raking approximately 80 million dollars (52 million dollars as salary and 28 million dollars as endorsements) annually, Cristiano Ronaldo is currently the second best paid athlete in 2017.
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr (Boxing)
Earning approximately 105 million dollars in winnings annually, Floyd Mayweather Jr is currently the best-paid boxer and athlete in 2017. Commonly known as pretty boy, The Best Ever (TBE), and Money, he is the second athlete (besides Tiger Woods) to earn a gross salary over 100 million dollars. The fight of his life with Manny Pacquiao scheduled for 2 May 2017 is expected to earn Floyd Mayweather Jr approximately 180 million dollars.
Sports are lucrative careers, with the top 10 best highest paid athletics in 2017 earning between 43.8 million dollars and 105 million dollars annually in salary and sports endorsements. As niches such as basketball, soccer, and boxing continue to grow in popularity worldwide, the reputation of the most popular professional players will soar, bringing them more fame and fortune.