The corona crisis also affects top athletes. But some suffer more than others. The pandemic paved the way for a new number one on the list of the highest paid athletes in the world. Not only the athlete himself is new at the top. His sport has never made it to first place either.
“Forbes” has been investigating how much the world’s 100 highest paid athletes make since 1990. Their total income was nine percent below the previous year in the current ranking. The top athletes earned a total of $ 3.6 billion from June 2019 to June 2020. Salaries, bonuses, prize money, advertising contracts, performance fees and royalties were taken into account.
The 100 highest paid athletes came from 21 countries and ten sports. Basketball players from the USA dominate the list. The new number one comes from Europe and also a European NBA star is at the forefront. Only women are sought in vain among the top earners on the continent. Worldwide, only two athletes have made it into the top 100.
These are the top earners among Europe’s athletes
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# 10 Rafael Nadal
Tennis star Rafael Nadal earned around $ 40 million from June 2019 to June 2020, according to Forbes. That means tenth place in Europe and 27th place worldwide. The analysis showed $ 14 million in salary and win awards. The Spaniard had earned $ 26 million with advertising contracts. His sponsors include Nike, Telefónica, Kia Motors and Santander. According to Forbes, Nadal has won a total of $ 121 million in prize money during his professional career since 2001. The Spaniard was ahead of the world’s highest-paid athlete, colleague Naomi Osaka ($ 37.4 million). Japanese and tennis star Serena Williams (33rd place) are the only women in the top 100.
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# 9 Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic also finished ninth with a professional tennis player. He therefore received $ 12.6 million in salary / win bonuses and $ 32 million in advertising. The contract with Lacoste alone is expected to generate an eight-figure sum (plus bonus). In 2020, Djokovic concluded a sponsorship agreement with Peugeot. However, the native Serb came under criticism in the Corona crisis. During a show tour he organized, players were infected with the virus, including Djokovic himself.
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# 8 Anthony Joshua
British boxer Anthony Joshua has earned $ 47 million in twelve months, according to the ranking. That was enough for 19th place worldwide and eighth place in Europe. The title of the 2019 heavyweight world champion of the associations IBF, WBO and WBA alone is said to have been worth over $ 35 million. Joshua has already made the next mega paycheck clear. A fight against Tyson Fury is planned for 2021.
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# 7 Giannis Antetokounmpo
Basketball and especially the North American league NBA dominates the list of the highest paid athletes in the world. Some Europeans also benefit from the dream salaries. According to “Forbes”, the highest endowed is Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek – nicknamed “Greek Freak” – is said to have made around $ 47.6 million in twelve months, including $ 28 million from advertising, for example for Nike. The star of the Milwaukee Bucks had been named the most valuable player in the NBA in the 2018/19 season. Disney wants to film Antetokounmpo’s life story. The cinema release is planned for 2022.
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# 6 Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor is arguably the most controversial figure among the top earners in the sport. The mixed martial arts fighter has recently raised $ 48 million, according to Forbes. The win against Donald Cerrone in January 2020 alone accounted for $ 30 million. In 2018, the Irish list was still ranked second. At the time, he had fought an incredible $ 85 million to fight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather. McGregor’s advertising deal with Reebok is expected to generate $ 5 million a year.
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# 5 Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy is the top earner among Europe’s golfers. The Brit earned $ 52 million between June 2019 and June 2020, according to “Forbes”. The number one in the world rankings earned $ 22 million with prize money alone. In 2019 he started the digital training subscription GolfPass with NBC Sports.
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# 4 Lewis Hamilton
Great Britain leads the country ranking in Europe among the highest paid athletes. Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton is ranked 13th worldwide by “Forbes” and is a specialty among the top athletes. Namely, Hamilton gets most of its $ 54 million income directly from its racing team and not through advertising partners. Mercedes paid the world champion $ 42 million according to the report. However, the contract expires at the end of 2020. “Hamilton wants more money – speculation about Ferrari change,” reported the media in early July.
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# 3 Tyson Fury
In 2021, British heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury will face Anthony Joshua. In terms of salary, he has already beaten his compatriot. Fury received $ 50 million in the ring within twelve months, and another $ 7 million in advertising contracts, according to Forbes. The fight against Deontay Wilder 2020 alone should have brought the champion just under $ 26 million.
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# 2 Cristiano Ronaldo
Only one athlete has recently earned more than Cristiano Ronaldo worldwide. The Portuguese soccer star earned $ 60 million at Juventus Turin, according to Forbes. In addition, there were $ 45 million in advertising, for example for Nike, Unilever and its own brand CR7. Ronaldo has replaced himself with his competitor Lionel Messi at the top of the highest paid athletes in recent years. This year it was not enough for both for the top position. Ronaldo put the Argentine in third place with just a $ 1 million lead. King football had to surrender to a man all over the world.
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# 1 Roger Federer
According to Forbes, Roger Federer is currently the highest paid athlete in the world. This is the first time that a tennis player has led the ranking list created since 1990. Federer was still in fifth place in 2019. Now the Swiss just passed Ronaldo and Messi with $ 106.3 million. The soccer stars had earned less than usual as a result of the corona pandemic, Forbes explained. That cleared the way for the top sports advertising star. Federer is said to have received $ 100 million from sponsors. The highest-paid athlete from Germany is in 49th place with $ 28.7 million according to “Forbes” Mesut Özil.