WORLD’S HIGHEST PAID ATHLETES from 2012 – 2017

Forbes released their 2017 list of the highest paid athletes in the world, and the athletes earning top-dollar come from across the spectrum. There are eight NBA players, four golfers, four soccer players, three race car drivers, two NFL players, two tennis players, a fighter and a runner. Here Listing Maniac brings up the data of highest paid athletes in the world from the year 2012 – 2017 as released by the Forbes each year.

 HIGHEST PAID ATHLETES AROUND THE GLOBE

2017 LIST

Rank Name Sport Nation Total Salary/Winnings Endorsements
1 CRISTIANO RONALDO FOOTBALL Portugal PORTUGAL $93 million $58 million $35 million
2 LEBRON JAMES BASKETBALL United States UNITED STATES $86.2 million $31.2 million $55 million
3 LIONEL MESSI FOOTBALL Argentina ARGENTINA $80 million $53 million $27 million
4 ROGER FEDERER TENNIS Switzerland SWITZERLAND $64 million $6 million $58 million
5 KEVIN DURANT BASKET BALL United StatesUNITED STATES $60.6 million $26.6 million $34 million
6 ANDREW LUCK AMERICAN FOOTBALL United StatesUNITED STATES $50 million $47 million $3 million
6 RORY MCILROV GOLF Northern IrelandNORTHERN IRELAND $50 million $16 million $34 million
8 STEPHEN CURRY BASKET BALL United StatesUNITED STATES $47.3 million $12.3 million $35 million
9 JAMES HARDEN BASKET BALL United States UNITED STATES $46.6 million $26.6 million $20 million
10 LEWIS HAMILTON AUTO RACING EnglandENGLAND $46 million $38 million $8 million

2016 LIST

Rank Name Sport Nation Total Salary/Winnings Endorsements
1 CRISTIANO RONALDO FOOTBALL Portugal PORTUGAL $88 million $56 million $32 million
2 LIONEL MESSI FOOTBALL Argentina ARGENTINA $81.4 million $53.4 million $28 million
3 LEBRON JAMES BASKET BALL United States UNITED STATES $77.2 million $23.2 million $54 million
4 ROGER FEDERER TENNIS Switzerland SWITZERLAND $67.8 million $7.8 million $60 million
5 KEVIN DURANT BASKET BALL United States UNITED STATES $56.2 million $20.2 million $36 million
6 NOVAK DJOKOVIC TENNIS SerbiaSERBIA $55.8 million $21.8 million $34 million
7 CAM NEWTON AMERICAN FOOTBALL United StatesUNITED STATES $53.1 million $41.1 million $12 million
8 PHIL MICHELSON GOLF United States UNITED STATES $52.9 million $2.9 million $50 million
9 JORDAN SPIETH GOLF United States UNITED STATES $52.8 million $20.8 million $32 million
10 KOBE BRYANT BASKET BALL United StatesUNITED STATES $50 million $25 million $25 million

2015 LIST

Rank Name Sport Nation Total Salary/Winnings Endorsements
1 .FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR. BOXING United States UNITED STATES $300 million $285 million $15 million
2 MANNY PACQUIAO BOXING Philippines PHILIPPINES $160 million $148 million $12 million
3 CRISTIANO RONALDO FOOTBALL Portugal PORTUGAL $79.6 million $52.6 million $27 million
4 LIONEL MESSI FOOTBALL Argentina ARGENTINA $73.8 million $51.8 million $22 million
5 ROGER FEDERER TENNIS Switzerland SWITZERLAND $67 million $9 million $58 million
6 LEBRON JAMES BASKET BALL United States UNITED STATES $64.8 million $20.8 million $44 million
7 KEVIN DURANT BASKET BALL United StatesUNITED STATES $54.1 million $19.1 million $35 million
8 PHIL MICKELSON GOLF United States UNITED STATES $50.8 million $2.8 million $48 million
9 TIGER WOODS GOLF United States UNITED STATES $50.6 million $0.6 million $50 million
10 KOBE BRYANT BASKET BALL United States UNITED STATES $49.5 million $23.5 million $26 million

2014 LIST

Rank Name Sport Nation Total Salary/Winnings Endorsements
1 FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR. BOXING United States UNITED STATES $105 million $105 million $0
2 CRISTIANO RONALDO FOOTBALL Portugal PORTUGAL $80 million $52 million $28 million
3 LEBRON JAMES BASKET BALL UNITED STATES $72.3 million $19.3 million $53 million
4 LIONEL MESSI FOOTBALL Argentina ARGENTINA $64.7 million $41.7 million $23 million
5 KOBE BRYANT BASKET BALL United States UNITED STATES $61.5 million $30.5 million $31 million
6 TIGER WOODS GOLF United States UNITED STATES $61.2 million $6.2 million $55 million
7 ROGER FEDERER TENNIS Switzerland SWITZERLAND $56.2 million $4.2 million $52 million
8 PHIL MICKELSON GOLF United States UNITED STATES $53.2 million $5.2 million $48 million
9 RAFAEL NADAL TENNIS Spain SPAIN $44.5 million $14.5 million $30 million
10 MATT RYAN AMERICAN FOOTBALL United States UNITED STATES $43.8 million $42 million $1.8 million

2013 LIST

Rank Name Sport Nation Total Salary/Winnings Endorsements
1 TIGER WOODS GOLF United States UNITED STATES $78.1 million $13.1 million $65 million
2 ROGER FEDERER TENNIS Switzerland SWITZERLAND $71.5 million $6.5 million $65 million
3 KOBE BRYANT BASKET BALL United States UNITED STATES $61.9 million $27.9 million $34 million
4 LEBRON JAMES BASKET BALL United States UNITED STATES $59.8 million $17.8 million $42 million
5 DREW BREES AMERICAN FOOTBALL United States UNITED STATES $51 million $40 million $11 million
6 AARON RODGERS AMERICAN FOOTBALL United StatesUNITED STATES $49 million $43 million $6 million
7 PHIL MICKLESON GOLF United States UNITED STATES $48.7 million $4.7 million $44 million
8 DAVID BECKHAM FOOTBALL England ENGLAND $47.2 million $5.2 million $42 million
9 CRISTIANO RONALDO FOOTBALL Portugal PORTUGAL $44 million $23 million $21 million
10 LIONEL MESSI FOOTBALL Argentina ARGENTINA $41.3 million $20.3 million $21 million

2012 LIST

Rank Name Sport Nationality Total earnings Salary/winnings Endorsements
1 FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR. BOXING United States UNITED STATES $85 million $85 million $0
2 MANNY PACQUIAO BOXING Philippines PHILIPPINES $62 million $56 million $6 million
3 TIGER WOODS GOLF United States UNITED STATES $59.4 million $4.4 million $55 million
4 LEBRON JAMES BASKET BALL United States UNITED STATES $53 million $13 million $40 million
5 ROGER FEDERER TENNIS Switzerland SWITZERLAND $52.7 million $7.7 million $45 million
6 KOBE BRYANT BASKET BALL United States UNITED STATES $52.3 million $20.3 million $32 million
7 PHIL MICKLESON GOLF United States UNITED STATES $47.8 million $4.8 million $43 million
8 DAVID BECKHAM FOOTBALL England ENGLAND $46 million $9 million $37 million
9 CRISTIANO RONALDO FOOTBALL Portugal PORTUGAL $42.5 million $20.5 million $22 million
10 PEYTON MANNING AMERICAN FOOTBALL United States UNITED STATES $42.4 million $32.4 million $10 million

FINAL ANALYSIS OF 2017 HIGHEST PAID ATHLETES

 

ONLY ONE WOMEN ATHLETE AMONG THE TOP 100 HIGHEST PAID OF 2017

Among the highest 100 paid athletes of 2017 if taken, there is only one women among the 100. Tennis star Serena Williams, who is pregnant and not currently playing on the tour, made $27 million last year $8 million from tennis winnings and $19 million from endorsements. The 35-year-old has won more Grand Slam singles titles 23 than any man or woman in the Open era, which began in 1968 and marked the first time that both professionals and amateurs could compete for titles.

The youngest athlete on the list is golfer Jordan Spieth. The 23-year-old made $34.5 million last year — $5.5 million in winnings and $29 million from endorsements.

In an open letter late last year, Williams addressed the disparity between how much men and women in sports earn. “When the subject of equal pay comes up, it frustrates me because I know firsthand that I, like you, have done the same work and made the same sacrifices as our male counterparts. I would never want my daughter to be paid less than my son for the same work. Nor would you.”

She ended her letter with, “We must continue to dream big, and in doing so, we empower the next generation of women to be just as bold in their pursuits.”

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