2019’s Three Highest-Paid Athletes In The World Are Soccer Players With Three NBA Players Also Cracking The Top 10

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iStockphoto / Madmaxer

The annual list of the 100 highest-paid athletes in the world has just been released and sweet Jumping Jehoshaphat did they make a lot of money. Collectively, the 100 highest-paid athletes in the world made more than $4 BILLION last year.

This list changes drastically every year and it usually depends on one athlete: Floyd Mayweather Jr. On the years he chooses to fight he’s almost always #1 and that means there’s an American in the top slot as the highest-paid athlete in the world. This year he didn’t fight so he didn’t make a trillion dollars (he’s retired, yeah, sure, we all believe it).

Occupying the top three spots of the 100 highest paid athletes in the world are men from Argentina, Portugal, and Brazil. These three ballers all have something in common: none of them played in the 2019 UEFA Champion’s League Final…I guess they all have a lot in common like they’re all once-in-a-generation strikers who are the faces of their soccer clubs and national teams for their countries.

The annual Forbes list of the highest paid athletes in the world accounts for not just salary but also endorsements and overall earnings. Coming in at #1 on the list is Argentina’s Lionel Messi who plays his club soccer in Barcelona. He earned a whopping $127 MILLION last year with $92 million in salary/winnings and an additional $35 million from endorsements.

#2 on 2019’s list is Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi’s nemesis, who earned $109 million in 2019 with $65 million coming from Salary and Winnings and an additional $44 million from endorsements. Third on the list is Neymar Jr. who raked in $105 million which included $75 million from his PSG salary and winnings and an additional $30 million from endorsements.

The Americans on the list occupy spots 6 through 10. Included on that list are two NFL quarterbacks and three NBA superstars. #6 is Russell Wilson with $89.5 million in earnings last year ($80.5M salary) followed by Aaron Rodgers at #7 with $80.3 million in salary. Spots eight through ten include LeBron James ($89M total, $53M endorsements), Steph Curry ($79.8M total, $42M endorsements) , and Kevin Durant ($65.4M total, $30.4M salary).

The two names I didn’t include from the top 10 are Canelo Alvarez at $92 million winnings plus an additional $2 million in endorsements and the GOAT, Roger Federer at #5, with $93.4 million over stemming from $7.4 million in winnings and $86 million from endorsements.

Here’s what the rest of the list looks like through the top 30.

1. Lionel Messi
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
3. Neymar Jr.
4. Canelo Alvarez
5. Roger Federer
6. Russell Wilson
7. Aaron Rodgers
8. LeBron James
9. Stephen Curry
10. Kevin Durant
11. Tiger Woods ($63.9M)
12. Ben Roethlisberger ($55.5M)
13. Lewis Hamilton ($55M)
13. Anthony Joshua ($55M)
13. Khalil Mack ($55M)
16. Russell Westbrook ($53.7M)
17. Novak Djokovic ($50.6M)
17. Mike Trout ($50.6M)
19. Phil Mickelson ($48.4M)
20. James Harden ($47.7M)
21. Conor McGregor ($47M)
22. DeMarcus Lawrence ($46.9M)
23. Bryce Harper ($44.5M)
24. Chris Paul ($43.8M)
25. Kyrie Irving ($43.3M)
26. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($43.2M)
27. Drew Brees ($42.4M)
28. Aaron Donald ($41.4M)
29. Damian Lillard ($41.1M)
30. Sebastian Vettel ($40.3M)

The annual highest paid athletes in the world list from Forbes goes all the way from 1 to 100. #100 on the list is a Cricket player named Virat Kohli who earned $25 million in 2019, just above him on the list is Egyptian soccer superstar Mohamed Salah who plays for Liverpool and just won the UEFA Champion’s League Final.

If you want to see what the full list looks like you can click here to visit Forbes.