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There has never been a better time to be among the world’s 50 highest-paid athletes. Altogether, the 50 athletes on Forbes’ annual list raked in more dough than they ever have, an estimated $3.44 billion.
At the top of the list is Cristiano Ronaldo who added an estimated $136 million to his various bank accounts over the last 12 months. While he was handed a bag of cash to play the beautiful game in Saudi Arabia, the money he made for his on-pitch work only accounts for about a third of his income. The other $90 million came off the field from endorsements. This includes the 38-year-old’s insanely huge Instagram following with 583 million followers.
So, yeah, if you want Ronaldo to shill for you it’ll cost you.
Behind Ronaldo in the second and third spots — which, while not No. 1, are still pretty good — fellow soccer players Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé. They brought in an estimated $130 million and $120 million respectively
So, when you have to spend a Saturday at your kid’s soccer game, maybe suck it up a little. That could pay off in the long run.
Soccer was one of only 8 sports represented alongside, basketball, boxing, golf, tennis, football, Formula 1, and baseball. While soccer dominated the top of the list, it was basketball players who occupied the most places on it.
The first hoops representative on the list was — perhaps unsurprisingly — LeBron James who earned $119.5 million, $75 million of which came off the court.
Other basketball players on the list included Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and more.
Hey, speaking of Russells, the highest-paid football player on the list was Russell Wilson. The man who almost had more bathrooms in his house than he did touchdowns last season, $85 million.
Just sneaking their way onto the list are Serena Williams at 49th on the list and Tom Brady at 50th. Williams is the only woman to have cracked the top 50, and interestingly, all but around $300,000 of her $45.3 million came off the court.
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