The highest earning athletes in the world

The world of sports today, at least in the big leagues and stages, is dominated by high earners. This all is sustained by top marketing and advertising strategies to ensure the money keeps flowing to match the expectations that come with top stars performing at the highest levels.


In recent years, we have seen great marketing employed in football, cricket, tennis, rugby and many more, all a scramble for viewership and following, which in turn translates to earnings.


Of course, in a world dominated by top stars there are disparities in the individual earnings and here we will see who is at the top of the pay grade in the money spinning leagues, tournaments and competitions.


Lionel Messi: Argentina forward Lionel Messi topped the headlines in August when it was revealed that he won’t be extending his stay at Barcelona. The fact that he was set to walk away for free, meant the club acquiring him wasn’t going to buy off any contracts. Getting him for free would mean he has a higher place in the negotiating process. He did land at what’s considered one of the richest football clubs – PSG. The French giants, in recognition of the talent acquired, offered him a bumper contract that sees the Argentine take home a cool $860,000 a week, making him the best paid active athlete at the moment.


Neymar: Messi’s move to PSG saw him reunite with Brazilian forward Neymar Jr, with whom they served together at Barcelona before the French giants snapped him up in a big money move. Until Messi’s arrival, Neymar was the highest earner at PSG, where he currently pockets a weekly wage of $836,000.


Cristiano Ronaldo: Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo has maintained his place among the top earners for a lengthy spell now. He recently made the switch from Juventus to Manchester United, the team he left about 12 years ago in another big-money move to Real Madrid. At Manchester United, Ronaldo’s arrival was marked with a shift in the wage bill, making him the highest earner at the club, pocketing a cool $531,000 a week.


Among the top three earners in the football world, it is Cristiano Ronaldo who has had the biggest impact this season. His nine goals so far have been key for United, and among any time goal scorers, he is mostly a sure bet in United’s matches on bookies, including 1XBet, a bookmaker with more than 400,000 registered users enjoying more than 30 betting markets and over 1000 daily sports events with competitive odds. The bookie also offers a great welcome bonus of up to $130, as profiled on Wincomparator. The offer is designed on a 100% bonus capped at $130 on the first deposit a minimum of which is $1, and is a preserve of first time registrations, accompanied by the promo code WINVIP.


Santos Alvarez: Mexican boxer Santos Saul Alvarez, adoringly referred to as Canelo, haqs risen through the ranks in professional boxing and 2020 marked his best year. He is a three-division world champion and his exploits last year saw him earn an impressive $94m, making him the fourth best earning athlete.


Roger Federer: Swiss national Roger Federer is a name easily identifiable in the world of tennis. He has won 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles and stands among the greats in the game, including Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovik. He may lack the stamina and speed of 15 years ago, and has dropped in rankings, but he is still a top earner. As at 2021, his yearly earnings are placed at $93.4m, which places him fifth in the list of top paid athletes.

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