Sports

The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes 

Jason Bancroft
Updated March 14, 2019 74k views 50 items

 

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 2019 (reflecting top 2018 earning), to help you figure out the current highest paid athlete. Forbes wealthiest athletes list 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, Canelo Álvarez. The athletes on this list play several 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, earning them spots on this list as the best-paid athlete in the world.

Who's the highest paid athlete and the highest paid sportsman? For more sports rumors and athlete trades gossip, visit this list of sports news sites.

 

1
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: 42

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States of America

Earnings: $285 million

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2
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: age 31

Nationality: Argentina, Spain

Birthplace: Rosario, Argentina

Teams: FC Barcelona, Argentina national football team, FC Barcelona B, FC Barcelona C

Earnings: $111 million

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3
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: 34

Nationality: Portugal

Birthplace: Santo António, Portugal

Teams: Manchester United F.C., Real Madrid C.F., Sporting Clube de Portugal, Portugal national football team

Earnings: $108 million

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4
Conor McGregor is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: age 30

Nationality: Republic of Ireland

Birthplace: Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Earnings: $99 million

5
Neymar is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: 27

Nationality: Brazil

Birthplace: Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil

Teams: FC Barcelona, Brazil national football team, Santos FC, Brazil national under-20 football team, Brazil national under-23 football team, + more

Earnings: $90 million

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6
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: age 34

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Akron, Ohio

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers

Earnings: $85.5 million

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7
Roger Federer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: age 37

Nationality: Switzerland, South Africa

Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland

Earnings: $77.2 million

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8
Stephen Curry is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: 31

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States of America

Teams: Golden State Warriors

Earnings: $76.9 million

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9
Matt Ryan is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: age 33

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Exton, Pennsylvania

Teams: Atlanta Falcons, Boston College Eagles football

Earnings: $67.3 million

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10
Matthew Stafford is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: 31

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Tampa, Florida

Teams: Detroit Lions, Georgia Bulldogs football team

Earnings: $59.5 million

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11
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: age 30

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States of America

Teams: Brooklyn Nets

Earnings: $57.3 million

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12
Lewis Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: 34

Nationality: United Kingdom

Birthplace: Stevenage, United Kingdom

Teams: Mercedes-Benz in Formula One

Earnings: $51 million

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13
Russell Westbrook is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: age 30

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Long Beach, California

Teams: Houston Rockets

Earnings: $47.6 million

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14
James Harden is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: age 29

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Teams: Houston Rockets

Earnings: $46.4 million

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15
Canelo Alvarez is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Canelo Alvarez Age: age 28

Earnings: $44.5 million

16
Tiger Woods is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: age 43

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Cypress, California, United States of America

Earnings: $43.3 million

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17
Drew Brees is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: 40

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Austin, Texas, United States of America

Teams: New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers, Purdue Boilermakers football

Earnings: $42.9 million

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18
Sebastian Vettel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: age 31

Nationality: Germany

Birthplace: Heppenheim, Germany

Earnings: $42.3 million

19
Derek Carr is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: age 27

Birthplace: Bakersfield, California

Teams: Oakland Raiders, Fresno State Bulldogs football

Earnings: $42.1 million

20
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: age 32

Nationality: Spain

Birthplace: Manacor, Spain

Earnings: $41.4 million

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21
Alex Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: age 34

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Seattle, Washington

Earnings: $41.4 million

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22
Phil Mickelson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: age 48

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States of America

Earnings: $41.3 million

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23
Jordan Spieth is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: age 25

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Dallas, Texas

Earnings: 41.2 million

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24
Damian Lillard is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Age: age 28

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Oakland, California

Teams: Portland Trail Blazers

Earnings: 39.2 million

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25
Anthony Joshua is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes
Anthony Joshua Age: age 29

Nationality: United Kingdom

Birthplace: London, United Kingdom

Earnings: $39 million