There are a number of games in the world and millions of people play these sports but few of them excel in it and represent their country on an International level. Some of them became so perfect that they represent the game, as you know football by the name of Ronaldo, but they are not just good at their respective games. They also know how to monetize their talent and become the highest paid athletes in the world. After all the research, we have shortlisted the Top 10 Highest Paid Athletes in the World. Let’s check out our list.
10. Matthew Stafford
Matthew Stafford was born in 1988 in Tampa, Florida. He is an American football quarterback. He attended Highland Park High School where started playing for the team. During that time, he was coached by Randy Allen, one of the best high school quarterbacks in the United States. He helped his team to win UIL 4A Division I State Championship and also won the MVP and Best Arm awards at the 2005 EA Sports Elite 11 Quarterback Camp.
Later, he played college football at Georgia and in 2009 he got picked by Lions. Matthew became the fourth quarterback to throw for over 5,000 yards in a single season and also the fastest player to reach 30,000 passing yards in the NFL history. Stafford signed a five-year contract with the Lions worth $135 million. His deal made him the highest-paid player in NFL history. He also received a $50 million signing bonus. Off the ground, Stafford made good money from all of his sponsors and the list is not a short one. Brands like Ford Motor, Blue Cross, Panini, Blue Shield, PepsiCo, Fanatics, and Nike.
9. Matt Ryan
Matthew Thomas Ryan was born in 1985 in Atlanta, Georgia. He is an American football quarterback. He is into sports since his school days. Ryan played football, basketball, and baseball while in high school and was named the captain of all three teams his senior year. After playing college football for Boston College. He led his team to three bowl victories and a 25–7 record in 32 starts. In 2007, he led his team to an ACC Atlantic Division championship and was named ACC Player of the Year.
Later in 2008, he got picked by Falcons in the first round of NFL Draft. In 2016, Matt signed a five-year contract with Falcons and became the first $30 million per year quarterback and the highest paid player in NFL history. He won NFL MVP which increases his market value overall and sponsors started floating. There are valuable sponsors working with Ryan like Mercedes Benz, Banana Republic, IBM, Delta Airlines, Nike, and Gatorade.
8. Stephen Curry
Wardell Stephen Curry II was born in 1988 in Akron, Ohio. He is an American professional basketball player. His father Dell Curry was also an NBA basketball player played for Cleveland Cavaliers. And his brother Seth Curry is also an NBA player currently plays for Portland Trail Blazers. While his father plays for Charlotte Hornets, he took Curry and his brother to the game. During the warm-up, they shoot with the Hornets.
He started his basketball career playing for Queensway Christian College boys’ basketball team where he leads them to an undefeated season. After his father’s retirement, they moved to Charlotte where he joined Charlotte Christian School and lead his team to three conference titles and three state playoffs. Curry is one of the greatest shooters in NBA history.
In 2015, he won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award and led Warriors to win their first championship since 1975. He also helped the Warriors to break the record for the most wins in NBA season. Stephen Curry signed $200 million contracts with MVP twice. And his contract with the Warriors for the next five years guarantees $201 million.
He is not just making from his game. Off the court, there are many sponsors tied up with Stephen Curry. Brands like Vivo, JBL, Chase, Under Armour, Nissan, Bubble, Brita and eHi through which he generates an estimated $42 million. Sony pictures also announced a multi-year development and production deal with Curry this year. Recently, he launched the latest version of the shoe of his own brand featuring Marques Brownlee(a tech Youtuber) in an ad.
7. Roger Federer
Roger Federer was born in 1981 in Basel, Switzerland. He is a Swiss professional tennis player. Roger grew up in close to French and German borders. He speaks many different languages like Swiss German, Standard German, English, and French as well as Italian and Swedish. In 1992, he served as a ball boy at his hometown Basel tournament.
In 1998, he started playing as a junior player and won both singles and doubles final. He won four ITF junior singles titles. Roger is one of the greatest players in tennis history. Currently, he is ranked world no. 1 in men’s singles. He has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles, the most in the history and also being in the world no. 1 spot for a record total of 310 weeks. There are many titles and awards in his name including thirteen Sportsmanship Award and BBC Overseas Sports Personality.
Roger has won $116 million in prize money throughout his career, but it’s just a slice of his earnings where the major part of it comes from the endorsements. There is a whole lot list of it, last year, Mercedes-Benz and Lindt renewed their contract with Federer. He also signed a deal with Barilla which is worth $40 million. There are sponsors who signed Roger for the brand are NetJets, Rolex, Lindt, Moet & Chandon, Jura, Wilson, Credit Suisse, and others. There is no doubt on how he is on the list of highest-paid athletes.
6. LeBron James
LeBron Raymone James Sr. was born in 1984 in Akron. He is an American professional basketball player. He was raised by single mother Gloria Marie James. When growing up, life was a struggle for him. They changed many places because of his mother not able to find a steady job. Later, he moved with Frank walker’s family who was a local football coach.
James started playing basketball at the age of 9. He played for Amateur Athletic Union as a youth. Later in 2003, he joined Cleveland Cavaliers. He is considered the best basketball player in the world. He won four times NBA Most Valuable Player Award, three times NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals and more.
Recently, became the youngest player to reach 30,000 career points breaking Michael Jordon’s record. Not only NBA, but he also has many top brands in his portfolio like Nike, Kia Motor, Intel, Blaze Pizza, Beats By Dre and Coca-Cola. He also made an investment in 17 fast-growing franchises. That’s not all, he also owns a production company, media company, 2% stack in Liverpool and more.
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior or simply known as Neymar was born in 1992 in São Paulo. His father Neymar Santos Sr. was a former footballer. He started training his son for a footballer from an early age. Neymar has grown up playing futsal with street football. Later in 2003, they moved to Santos where he joined Santos FC. He helped the club to win Campeonato Paulista and Copa do Brasil championship. In 2011, Santos FC won the first Copa Libertadores since 1963. He also named South American Footballer of the Year twice.
In 2011, in South American Youth Championship, he was the key player for Brazil’s victory. Neymar is the third highest goal scorer for Brazil only after Pelé and Ronaldo. In 2017, Neymar transferred from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain club. The transferring deal was worth of $600 million in which $250 million paid to Barcelona to release him and the remaining goes to Neymar as the part of salary till June 2022 and became one of the highest paid athletes of the world. This deal made him the world’s most expensive player. He also has global sponsors like Red Bull, Nike, Gillette, Beats by Dre and McDonalds. Neymar also owns a sneakers brand called Air Jordon made by the Swoosh.
4. Conor Mcgregor
Conor Anthony McGregor was born in 1988 in Crumlin. He is an Irish professional boxer. In his early age, he was not into boxing. He played football for Lourdes Celtic Football Club. Later, he joined Crumlin Boxing Club at the age of 12. When he moved to Lucan with his family. He met Tom Egan and they started training for MMA together.
In 2012, he won both the titles of, Cage Warriors Featherweight and Lightweight Championships. In 2015, he defeated José Aldo in 13 seconds in the first round to win UFC Featherweight Championship. He made the history with the fattest victory for UFC title. Later, Conor became the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two weight divisions.
In 2017, Conor made his professional boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather where he got defeated. But he made a good amount of money from the match. The fight itself had 4.3 million PPV buys. He is a contract with UFC. Apart from boxing, he made money from his various partners like Burger King, Beats by Dre, Monster Energy, and others. He also generates cash from Conor McGregor FAST Program, MacMoji App, MacTalk App, and the Mac Life.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo was born in 1985 Funchal. In 1992, he started playing football for Andorinha team and played till 1995. Later, in 1997 he was signed by Sporting CP. At that time, he decided to make his career as a professional football player and quit the school to entirely focus on it. While at the schooling time he got expelled to throw a chair at his teacher. Ronaldo also faced serious health issues when he was diagnosed by a racing heart. It was a very tough time for him. He went down laser heart surgery.
After discharge from the hospital, he started resumed his training after a few days of rest. He is one of the greatest players of all time. Ronaldo won numerous awards and titles. He has a record-tying five Ballon d’Or awards. Ronaldo is the first player to win four European Golden Shoes and many more. He has scored over 670 goals for club and country.
In 2009, Ronaldo moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid which was the most expensive association football transfer deal. He makes $50 million from his current contract with Real Madrid, and his lifetime Nike contract is worth $1 billion till 2020 and saves a place in the list of highest paid athletes. Not only, Nike, but there are also many other popular brands in the Ronaldo’s bucket like Herbalife, EA Sports, American Tourister, and others. He is the most popular athlete with 322 million followers in social media.
2. Lionel Messi
Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini was born in 1987 in Rosario. He started playing football at a very early age. At the age of six, he joined Rosario club where he played for Newell’s and scored 500 goals. His career was at risk at the age of 13 when he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. Messi’s relative lives in Catalonia where he joined Barcelona club.
He played his first FIFA World cup at the age of 18. He is one of the most successful and greatest footballers in the history of football. Messi won many awards and titles in his career. He won record five Ballon d’Or awards and four European Golden Shoes. He has scored over 600 goals for club and country. Messi announced his international retirement in 2006.
Later, he reversed his decision to led his country team to qualify for World cup 2018. In 2007, Messi agreed to extend his contract with the Barcelona till 2021. From this contract extension, he made $80 million and all these made him be in the list of highest paid athletes. He also has a lifelong deal with Adidas. And many other brands are also in his pocket. There is a theme park called “Messi Experience Park” is opening in the Chinese city of Nanjing in 2020.
1. Floyd Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather was born in 1977, Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is an American professional boxing promoter and former professional boxer. He belongs to a boxer family. His father Floyd Mayweather Sr. and Uncle Jeff and Roger Mayweather was also a professional boxer. He got his initial training from them. He had a very dark childhood. Once in an interview, he said, ”People don’t know the hell I’ve been through”. Mayweather attended Ottawa Hills High School and dropped it to become a professional boxer.
He won many world titles in his career. He won America Fight of the Year Award three times and Best Fighter ESPY Award six times. There is no wonder how and why he is on the First rank of the list of Highest Paid Athletes. It’s the seventh time Mayweather top the highest paid athletes in the world list. It was that one-fight comeback in 2017 against Conor Mcgregor. 36 minutes in the ring make him earn $275 million. He is one of the highest pay per view boxer leading Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya, and Manny Pacquiao. He also had endorsement deals with Hublot and Tequila Avion from which he made $10 million.
So, these are the highest paid athletes in the world. What do you think about the athletes? Do they deserve to be on the list? Let us know in the comment below. And also, let us know how you liked our article. Your feedback is valuable to us. Keep Reading. Also, read: Top 10 Highly Paid Jobs In India 2018