Barcelona's Lionel Messi overtakes Cristiano Ronaldo on Forbes rich list

07 June, 2018, 07:21 | Author: Miranda Cannon

However, it is the absence of a single female name that is most notable.

Mayweather heads the world's highest-paid athletes for the fourth time in seven years, thanks to a $275 million payday for his August boxing match against UFC star Conor McGregor.

Basketball players dominate the list (40%) followed by American football and football (soccer) players who make up almost 30% of the top earners.

Kohli also is one of five Indians who are in the A+ category contract with the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI).

Serena Williams was the only representative previous year, narrowly missing out on a spot in the top 50.

Forbes said tennis' female sportspersons Li Na, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams were list regulars but Li retired in 2014 and Sharapova is still dealing with the aftermath of a 15-month suspension for using a banned substance.


Serena Williams was the only woman to appear on the list a year ago, coming in 51st place with reported earnings of $27 million (£20.1 million). The 29-year-old batting sensation earned $24 million over the last 12 months; $4 million through salary and winnings, and $20 million through brand endorsements.

Swiss ace Federer remains the most attractive athlete for sponsors, with endorsement deals accounting for $65 million of his earnings. Real Madrid forward Ronaldo ($108m/£80.6m) fell to third, behind his rival Lionel Messi ($111m/£82.9m). He jumps 13 spots to fifth with an income of $90 million, including $19 million from endorsement partners.

Roger Federer claimed seventh place and was the highest-ranking tennis player with US$77.2m.

The lowest paid athlete on the list was basketball star Nicolas Batum with $22.9 million earned in the time frame.

Forbes earnings figures include all salaries, bonuses and prize money earned between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018.

The top is dominated by American sportsmen including LeBron James and two National Football League quarterbacks, but there is no room for New England Patriots' hero Tom Brady.

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