Top Ten Wealthiest Athletes In History


World-class athletes represent their country at international competitions. By winning gold and silver medals, they bring prestige to their homeland. To achieve such success, they have to train from childhood, show the strength of character and make incredible efforts that exceed the abilities of an ordinary person.

In any sport, those athletes who are on the Top 100 list receive the greatest income. The top 10 of them make millions of US dollars. Online Bookmakers from Australia and other countries don’t leave these sports stars and their fans behind by offering all sorts of betting options. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at the top 10 richest athletes in history.

Big sport has long been a sphere in which big sums are invested. A tremendous amount of money is spent on equipment, organizing competitions, transfers, medicine, insurance, building stadiums, and, of course, athletes’ salaries. As a matter of fact, the latest fees are increasing impressively due to advertising contracts and any kinds of deals. Which athletes have earned the most in history? Let’s figure it out!

Floyd Mayweather – an undefeated American professional boxer in the welterweight division. His team received $560 million, and the athlete himself – $280 million for one fight with Conor McGregor.

Lionel Messi – an Argentine footballer, striker, and captain of the Argentine national team. Taking into account the contract with the football club and various companies, the player’s income is about $110 million per year.

Cristiano Ronaldo – a Portuguese footballer who plays for the Italian club Juventus and the Portuguese national team. The footballer earns about $109 million per year. The earnings include a contract salary with the football clubs, contracts with sponsors like Nike, and income from his social media accounts.

cristiano ronaldo

Tiger Woods – one of the most famous golfers in the world. He has set numerous golf records and has lots of achievements in this kind of sport. At the peak of his career, the athlete’s income was about $100 million a year. Presently he makes money mainly on advertising.

Magic Johnson – a famous American basketball player. He is the first successful basketball businessman in history. He is engaged in investments, real estate business and is the most influential person in the sports of Los Angeles. According to some reports, the athlete has earned more than $600 million over his entire career.


Roger Federer – a Swiss professional tennis player, the former first tennis racket of the world. The sportsman gains about $100 million a year through advertising and collaborations with such brands as Rolex, Mercedes, Moet & Chandon, etc. Moreover, this tennis pro could receive $100 million in prize money just for one game.

Michael Schumacher – German Formula 1 racer, seven-time world champion. The total income of the famous race car driver reached $1 billion at the peak of his career. His fortune includes both income from the competitions and collaborations with well-known brands.

Michael Jordan – the best basketball player in history. Throughout his career, the famous athlete’s income amounted to more than $2 billion. Over the past year, this basketball player earned more than $120 million from advertisements only.

Ion Tiriac – a Romanian tennis player, hockey player, public figure, and businessman. He made his fortune of $1.2 billion in sports and by making business deals as well. After retirement from sports, he has been a manager for many well-known athletes and then started investing in various industries (health, insurance, construction, etc.).

Vince McMahon – an American wrestling promoter, commentator, and wrestler. According to Forbes, this athlete’s fortune is more than $2 billion in 2021. McMahon is currently the CEO and Chairman of the WWE Board, which he controls as well.

How do professional athletes make money?

Professional sportsmen usually receive a fixed salary based on their contracts, except for sports where they are paid for performance and results. Contracts are concluded for one year or several years, depending on the sport and the player. Agreements usually include a guaranteed paycheck, which gives the player some financial security, even if the season isn’t going well. In addition to this fixed salary, some professional athletes also receive bonuses, especially if the team is performing well. 

Contracts with various trademarks are another large piece of players’ salaries. Numerous brands are willing to spend big bucks to get famous athletes as the face of their new collection or line of products. Athletes are considered to be highly influential and often increase sales significantly. The company easily compensates for the transaction value by increasing its sales revenue. Deals like these can add millions to the top athletes’ annual income.

Sports are one of the most lucrative industries. Looking at the TOPs of athletes, we can see salaries in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Footballers can make 100 million a year, UFC fighters can earn the same sum in one fight, and so on. However, when a professional athlete is faced with a career-ending injury, that income ends up, and the sportsman isn’t able to continue his career.


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