The Best Paid Athletes in the World

We have heard of the sports horror stories when athletes have to have double jobs while also working out and having to perform at the top level. Yet, there are the opposite ones, where top level athletes earn enough money to feed entire cities, let alone their own selves or families. Some sports are more popular than others and therefore, produce richer athletes, but there are outliers so be prepared to be surprised when you see the following list of the world’s best paid athletes.

Connor McGregor

The UFC ends up paying a lot, or does it? People would think that McGregor earns as much as 200 million dollars simply from fighting? Well, it’s far from it. His salary from the UFC is around 28 million dollars, the rest being all from sponsorships. Being such a well-known athlete amounts to a lot of money, as can be seen.

Prior to McGregor, the highest paid athletes were topping at 100ish million dollars, which is where the second and third most paid athletes currently reside.

Lionel Messi

Messi used to be neck and neck with Cristiano Ronaldo as the world’s most paid athlete, but McGregor came in and took the world by storm. His very nature and image is much more appealing to sponsors than Messi’s or Ronaldo’s. Nevertheless, Messi is still worth a lot of money and with his move to PSG, he is probably going to get paid even more than he was in Barcelona. He is currently worth 128 million USD, or rather, that is his annual income. Most of that comes from the club, believe it or not, and not the sponsors.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo and Messi often go hand in hand in conversations about the most paid athletes. Ronaldo’s income is only a bit lower than that of Messi, currently at 120 million USD. 70 of those millions comes from the club, and the remaining 50 from various sponsorship deals.

Ronaldo and Messi have been topping the sports income charts for many years now, but there are newcomers, one in McGregor and another in the following athlete.

Dak Prescott

Some athletes that come from the world of football are well known, mostly due to football’s popularity. American football, on the other hand, is another thing, but it has been rising in popularity in recent years, outside the States. With that, Dak Prescott, a quarterback (no surprise there) for the Dallas Cowboys, is fourth on the list with 108 million USD. His value to the team is apparently immense, more than any of the other athletes on the list. He earns 98 million USD from the team and a measly 10 from sponsors. 

LeBron James

When it comes to basketball players, particularly NBA players, nobody is as popular currently as LeBron James. With that in mind, his salary is also among the highest, definitely highest in the NBA, at 102 million USD.

Opposite to Prescott, he earns around 30 million from his team, the LA Lakers, and the remaining 72 from sponsorships. All of these athletes are great, but some simply have a more lucrative brand.

These are the world’s most paid athletes. The list is in order, but given how sports change (as well as the world), it might get updated sooner rather than later.