The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes People In Sports
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The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes

List of the highest paid athletes in the world, professional athletes who make the most money annually. This is Forbes annual list of the highest-paid professional athletes, updated for 2015 (reflecting top 2014 earning). Forbes uses salaries, bonuses, prize money, appearance fees, licensing deals and endorsement contracts to determine which athletes earned the most during the previous year. (Taxes and fees paid to representatives like agents are not factored in.)

So who are the highest paid athletes? This list includes elite athletes from all sports -- from Cristiano Ronaldo in soccer to boxing sensation, Manny Pacquiao. The athletes on this list play 11 different sports and the most highly paid athletes tend to be baseball players. Americans dominate the list, but there are athletes from 23 different countries in the top 100. Nike has sponsorship deals with at least 75% of the most highly paid athletes in the world. The deals range from a $10,000 baseball glove deal to $20 million a year players like LeBron James and Tiger Woods, who are the faces behind massive product launches.

For more sports rumors and athlete trades gossip, visit this list of sports news sites.
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  1. 1

    1977 Earnings: $105 million

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  2. 2

    1985 Earnings: $80 million

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  3. 3

    1984 Earnings: $72.3 million

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  4. 4

    1987 Earnings: $64.7 million

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  5. 5

    1978 Earnings: $61.5 million

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  6. 6

    1975 Earnings: $62.1 million

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  7. 7

    1981 Earnings: $56.2 million

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  8. 8

    1970 Earnings: $53.2 million

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  9. 9

    1986 Earnings: $44.5 million

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  10. 10

    1985 Earnings: $43.8 milion

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  11. 11

    1978 Earnings: $41.8 million

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  12. 12

    1981 Earnings: $40.4 million

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  13. 13

    1988 Earnings: $36.6 million

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  14. 14

    1989 Earnings: $36.4 million

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  15. 15

    1986 Earnings: $35.4 million

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  16. 16

    1992 Earnings: $33.6 million

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  17. 17

    1987 Earnings: $33.1 million

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  18. 18

    1988 Earnings: $33 million

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  19. 19

    1985 Earnings: $32 million

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  20. 20

    1988 Earnings: $31.9 million

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  21. 21

    Fernando Alonso 1981 Earnings: $31 million

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  22. 22

    1981 Earnings: $30 million

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  23. 23

    1982 Earnings: $29.9 million

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  24. 24

    1984 Earnings: $29.4 million

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  25. 25

    1976 Earnings: $28 million

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  26. 26

    1976 Earnings: $27.1 million

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  27. 27

    1982 Earnings: $26.7 million

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  28. 28

    Dale Earnhardt Jr 1974 Earnings: $25.9 million

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  29. 29

    1985 Earnings: $25.5 million

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  30. 30

    1978 Earnings: $25.3 million

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  31. 31

    1983 Earnings: $24.8 million

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  32. 32

    1983 Earnings: $24.6 million

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  33. 33

    1983 Earnings: $24.5 million

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  34. 34

    1987 Earnings: $24.4 million

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  35. 35

    1974 Earnings: $24.3 million

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  36. 36

    1989 Earnings: $24.3 million

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  37. 37

    1985 Earnings: $24.2 million

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  38. 38

    1980 Earnings: $24.2 million

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  39. 39

    1984 Earnings: $23.9 million

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  40. 40

    1985 Earnings: $23.8 million

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  41. 41

    1982 Earnings: $23.6 million

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  42. 42

    1966 Earnings: $23.5 million

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  43. 43

    1985 Earnings: $23.4  million

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  44. 44

    1988 Earnings: $23.3 million

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  45. 45

    1986 Earnings: $23.2 million

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  46. 46

    1978 Earnings: $23.2 million

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  47. 47

    1989 Earnings: $23 million

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  48. 48

    1975 Earnings: $22.9 million

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  49. 49

    1979 Earnings: $22.9 million

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  50. 50

    1980 Earnings: $22.7 million

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