The world’s richest athletes in 2018
August 26, 2018
Sports are one of the biggest sources of entertainment in our world. It unites the people in a way that nothing else can. Even the worst of enemies forget their rivalry when cheering for the same team.
With the advent of high-speed internet, sports viewers have multiplied in the last decade and so has revenue. As the viewership numbers increase, the money involved in these activities also climbs up. Some of these athletes have become so rich that Forbes started tracking these wealthy sportsmen since last few decades.
The top 100 of the best-paid athletes, earned about $3.8 billion this year. This is a 23% increase when compared with 2017 stats.
So, who are the richest athletes in 2018?
Floyd Mayweather is an American professional boxer at the top of the list. His professional career started in 1996 and ended in 2015. In 2017, he made a comeback for a single fight with UFC’s Conor McGregor. He was also the promoter of the fight and netted a cool $275 million from that match. Endorsements brought in an additional $10 million, making it the most expensive boxing match in the history.
While the big four sports are famous in North America, football rules the rest of the world and Lionel Messi is the king. Messi, an Argentine player is a part of the country’s national team and the Barcelona FC. When you consider his salary at the club, endorsements and bonuses, his earning is close to about $130 million this year, making him one of the highest-paid footballers in the world.
Right on the heels of Messi is the Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo. He moved from Real Madrid to Juventus, taking a $2 million pay cut. But when you add endorsements, the Rocket Ronaldo clocks a neat $111 million a year, making him the third highest paid athlete of 2018.
McGregor made a lot of money from the Mayweather fight, despite losing it. Besides the $75 million from that fight, he also earns $3 million from his UFC fights. Add the endorsements, and his net earning for 2018 comes to about $99 million.
Brazilian player Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior is another football player who earns the big dollars. They peg his current salary and bonus at $73 million and he also gets $17 million in endorsements.