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Top 5 Highest Paid Athletes In The World

Jul 27, 2014

Athletes are paid astronomical amounts of money to play their respective sports. The minium salary in any of the four major pro sports in North America is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and the largest contracts are in the hundreds of millions. But who gets paid the most? Out of all the highly paid superstars who makes the most money? The answer according to Forbes might surprise you, it certainly surprised me.

1. Floyd Mayweather

Floyd MayweatherFloyd MayweatherCourtesy of SB Nation
  • Total Earnings: $105 million
  • Salary/winnings: $105 million
  • Endorsements: $0

The undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather is the first athlete since Tiger Woods to earn $100 million in Forbes' annual tally of the highest-paid athletes. His fight against Canelo Alvarez last year set records for highest pay-per-view gross ($150 million), live gate ($20 million) and total revenue (roughly $200 million). The Canelo fight was the second bout in the blockbuster 30-month, six fight deal he signed with Showtime in 2013 that is the reason he tops the list. No endorsements? Money May can't get a sponsorship deal? Look for him to top the list again next year as well. 

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo makes just enough to cover the cost of his hair gelRonaldo makes just enough to cover the cost of his hair gelCourtesy of FIFA
  • Total Earnings: $80 million
  • Salary/earnings: $52 million
  • Endorsements: $28 million

He might not be the best soccer player in the world (I think that honor still belongs to number four on this list) but he is the highest paid. After being awarded MVP in 2013 he was rewarded with a ludicrous $206 million contract. Throw in his many endorsements and Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the top money-making athletes on the planet.

3. LeBron James

Don't look LeBron, you just made another million dollarsDon't look LeBron, you just made another million dollarsCourtesy of SF Chronicle
  • Total Earnings: $72.3 million
  • Salary/earnings: $19.3 million
  • Endorsements: $53 million

No surprise here, King James is the top endorsement star in the NBA and has multi-million dollar deals in place with Nike, McDonalds and Coca-Cola to supplement his NBA salary (which will go up now with the Cavs). LeBron is a superstar of the highest order and will continue to be on this list for years to come barring a public scandal.

4. Lionel Messi

My name is Messi, and I'm a millionaireMy name is Messi, and I'm a millionaireCourtesy of FIFA
  • Total Earnings: $64.7 million
  • Salary/earnings: $41.7 million
  • Endorsements: $23 million

Massive contracts with sponsors like Adidas, who launched his signature Messi shoe last year, have invested heavily in Barcelona's most prolific goal scorer and poster boy for the beatiful game. And Messi will only get richer as he signed a new contract recently that will pay him $50 million a year and extend his stay at Barcelona until 2018. The boy with the boyish looks will be lauging all the way to the bank for years to come.

5. Kobe Bryant

Smile Kobe, you are stinking richSmile Kobe, you are stinking richCourtesy of NBA
  • Total Earnings: $61.5 million
  • Salary/earnings: $30.5 million
  • Endorsements: $31 million

The Black Mamba makes more than any other player in the NBA and will continue to be the highest paid player for the next two years as he signed a lucrative contract extension with the Lakers. Kobe's key to success is his marketing presence worldwide with endorsements from international companies like Lenovo, Hublot and Panini. Just because Kobe is slowing down on the court a little doesn't mean he's going to ease up on earning that paper. 

Have your say!

Do athletes make too much money? Or are they paid what they deserve considering how much money sports teams make? Were you surprised to see Floyd Mayweather at the top of the list? Let us know in the comments below. 



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What Would You Do With $106?

  • Buy Shoes.
  • Save it.
  • Video games.
  • Spend it on my date.

Sports In The Forums

Lolly20 posted in Xtreme Sports:
of coarse girls can be stronger than boys but some are not :wave
reply 2 days
How the game works: you roast the favorite american football player of the person above you  EXAMPLE: Mathew Stafford LIONS QB USER BELOW: hes the worst qb in nfl did you know that? Ok first person to reply roasts my player:  Favorite NFL Player: Antonio Brown #84 Pittsburgh Steelers
reply 4 days
Lolly20 posted in Cheerleading:
as long as they r happy i think it is fine :)
reply 6 days
A recent comment on a video gave me this idea , of writing about this whole scenario  the comment was something like this Messi + Ronaldo = Zlatan It was something that made me happy , cuz i'm a Zlatan fan myself , but keeping that aside I'll be honest in stating the reasons due to which Zlatan is considered better among fans  1st - Tired of Messi vs Ronaldo ; For those of you tired of the endless Messi vs Ronaldo debate Zlatan is the middle way , when Zlatan was asked for a word to describe Messi and Ronaldo  he said for Messi - Fantastic , for Ronaldo - Good ( he'd definitely prefer messi since he was in barca , so definitely against Real Madrid , but i'll skip that ) , but when asked about one word for Zlatan - "WOW!" that was his answer 2nd - If you believe in extraordinary and Jaw-dropping stuff; If we talk about Messi and Ronaldo we'll think constant goal scorers and team players and who deliver something great evry time the team needs it , but Zlatan he may also score regularly not as frequent as Messi or Ronaldo , but every time he scores it's another jaw dropping goal , whether that 32 yard bicycle kick vs England or extraordinary volleys Zlatan is Zlatan 3rd Zlatan does things nobody does; You won't see Ronaldo having fun with reporters or Messi bad mouthing his manager even when he is wrong , Zlatan doesn't cares,  like who can forget the epic reply to Arsene Wenger on asking Zlatan to play a trial game , -" ZLATAN doesn't do Auditions" If some of you guys don't agree with me no problem , everybody has their own opinion , and if you don't agree with me cuz you don't know about any of those Zlatan goals or interviews , then you should definitely search the internet for - Extraordinary Zlatan  ZLATAN may had not won the -ballon d'or , but has won large no of trophies and league titles  search for zlatan ibrahimovic - titles and trophies for that
reply 10 days
Well for me, I think totally! Inside that is. When a guy says girls can't play sports I think THEY can't be cheerleaders. But if a guy says girls CAN play sports, yep, they could be cheerleaders
reply 13 days