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The top 100 highest-paid athletes in the world have been revealed featuring some surprise names

Alex Brotherton

| Last updated 

The top 100 highest-paid athletes in the world have been revealed featuring some surprise names

The top 100 highest-paid athletes in the world have been revealed, and there are a few surprising inclusions.

Sportico have revealed who are the highest earning athletes on the planet, along with the details of exactly how much they earn.

It will come as a surprise to absolutely nobody that Cristiano Ronaldo is the top earner, with the Portuguese superstar taking home a tidy $275 million (£217m) in 2023, comprising $215m (£170m) in salary and $60m (£47.5m) in endorsements.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner left Manchester United at the end of 2022 under a cloud after falling out with manager Erik ten Hag, but within weeks Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr made him the best-paid athlete on the planet.



Ronaldo's long-term rival Lionel Messi is third in the overall rankings, earning £102.9m a year while playing for MLS side Inter Miami.

The Argentine had his pick of clubs when he left Paris Saint-Germain last year, but he chose to join David Beckham's new franchise along with fellow ex-Barcelona stars Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and, most recently, Luis Suarez.

Ahead of Messi in the top-earners chart though is Spanish golfer Jon Rahm, who took home £160.6m in 2023, largely thanks to his huge salary and earnings totalling £143.25m.


One of the biggest surprise in the rankings is the high position of YouTuber turned boxer Jake Paul. The American earned an estimated $47m (£37.2m) in 2023, making him the 37th highest-paid athlete in the world.

Despite only making his professional boxing debut in 2020, the 27-year-old earned more in 2023 than both tennis world number one Novak Djokovic (£35.5m) and fellow boxer Tyson Fury (£31.7m).

Not a single female athlete made the top 100. The highest earning female athlete in the world is tennis star Coco Gauff, who earned $22.7m (£18m) last year.

By comparison, the 100th top-earning male athlete - New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr - earned $32.5m.


The full list can be found here, with the top 10 as follows:

1: Cristiano Ronaldo - $215 million salary/winnings, $60m endorsements, $275m total

2: Jon Rahm - $181m salary/winnings, $22m endorsements, $203m total

3: Lionel Messi, $65m salary/winnings, $65m endorsements, $130m total


4: LeBron James, $45.7m salary/winnings, $80m endorsements, $125.7m

5: Kylian Mbappe $100m salary/winnings, $25m endorsements, $125m

6: Neymar, $86m salary/winnings, $35m endorsements, $121m total

7: Stephen Curry, $48.9m salary/winnings, $50m endorsements, $98.9m total


8: Giannis Antetokounmpo, $43.4m salary/winnings, $45m endorsements, $88.4m, total

9: Kevin Durant, $44.9m salary/winning, $42m endorsements, $86.9m total

10: Patrick Mahomes, $59.3m salary/winnings, $25m endorsements, $84.3m total

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Tyson Fury, Novak Djokovic, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar

Alex Brotherton
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