Entertainment

The 50 Richest & Highest Paid Athletes In The World 2021

Last updated on April 3, 2021 by

richest athlete

The crown title of Richest Athlete in the World belongs to Vince McMahon in 2021. Read below to view the rest of the top 50 richest athletes in the world.

With salaries, prize money, and endorsement earnings rising higher and higher each year, elite athletes are making more money than ever before. However, as you’ll notice from the contenders below, to truly break the inside the richest athletes rankings requires becoming an internationally recognized phenom with celebrity status.

Today we are going to look at the top 50 richest athletes in the world in 2021. We considered each athlete’s net worth, which is different from each athlete’s salary and career earnings. Net values take all wealth and assets into consideration, such as investments and properties.

To view the highest paid athletes, click here to jump down below.

1. Vince McMahon

Vince McMahon

Net worth: 2.1 billion USD
Sport: Professional Wrestling
Age: 75
Country: United States

The title of the wealthiest athlete in 2021 goes to Vince McMahon. Nicknamed Mr. McMahon, Vince is a former professional wrestler and the founder of WWE. Superstars wrestlers that he hired like Undertaker, Hulk Hogan, and Stone Cold, helped expand his business to where it is today. Ticket sales, sponsorships, and merchandising helped increase Vince McMahon’s net worth of an incredible $2.2 Billion in 2021.

2. Ion Tiriac

Ion Tiriac

Net worth: 1.7 billion USD
Sport: Tennis
Age: 81
Country: Romania

Nicknamed the ‘Brașov Bulldozer,’ the Romanian business mogul and former professional tennis player, Ion Tiriac, is the second wealthiest athlete globally. While Ion Tiriac might be less known than Vince McMahon or Michael Jordan, he has undoubtedly made some intelligent investments after retiring from Tennis in 1987. After his professional tennis career, Ion Tiriac coached and managed successful tennis professionals before expanding his business investments.

3. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

Net worth: 1.6 billion USD
Sport: Basketball
Age: 58
Country: United States

His Airness, the Goat, M.J…there is no one more iconic than Michael Jordan. Within just two years of entering the NBA, Jordan was already seen as the best basketball player globally, which helped him become the highest-paid athlete in the 1980s through today With his Jordan Brand and partnerships with Nike, he has accrued a net worth of over 1.6 billion dollars. Michael Jordan won six NBA titles, and he is currently the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats NBA franchise.

4. Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

Net worth: 800 million USD
Sport: Golf
Age: 45
Country: United States

Tiger Woods is one of the most famous golfers of all time, and along with Jack Nicklaus, he is considered one of the greatest golf players of all time. He was a child prodigy, winning tournaments against older players and becoming the youngest US Junior Amateur champion. Just like Michael Jordan, his relationship with Nike helped propel his brand and earnings.

5. Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher

Net worth: 780 million USD
Sport: Formula One Racing
Age: 52
Country: Germany

German driver Michael Schumacher transcended Formula One in the likes of Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan. Known for his aggressive driving style, Schumacher was able to push his Ferrari to the limits. He won a total of seven Formula One championships, five consecutively, driving the iconic Ferrari brand. He holds the record for the most F1 wins in a record 91 wins, followed by five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton who stands second with a total of 74. His yearly salaries, coupled with multiple endorsements, helped him become the first billionaire athlete.

6. Magic Johnson

Earvin ‘ Magic’ Johnson

Net worth: 600 million USD
Sport: Basketball
Age: 61
Country: United States

NBA Hall of Famer Earvin ‘ Magic’ Johnson is a basketball legend who successfully transitioned to the business field. His two-year stint in college culminated with one of the greatest American college basketball games of all time. The NBA in the 80s was defined by two players: Magic Johnson with the Los Angeles Lakers and Larry Bird with the Boston Celtic. Magic’s business mind was at work from the beginning, purchasing multiple radio stations, signing endorsement deals, and later part of the Los Angeles Lakers.

7. Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach

Net worth: 600 million USD
Sport: American Football
Age: 79
Country: United States

Roger Staubach was a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys from 1969 to 1979. During the eleven years Roger Staubach played in the NFL, he led his team to five Super Bowl appearances, winning two of them, as well as making the Pro Bowl six times. Roger worked on and off in real estate during his pro football career, and upon retiring, he successfully transitioned to the commercial real estate business by creating the Staubach Company.

8. Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather

Net worth: 560 million USD
Sport: Professional Boxing
Age: 44
Country: United States

Nicknamed ‘Money Mayweather,’ Floyd is one of the greatest boxers of all time and most notorious for his flashy lifestyle. Unlike many top athletes on this list, Floyd Mayweather is an athlete entrepreneur who did not have many endorsement deals but could negotiate eight and nine-figure deals for single boxing events. Mayweather went undefeated over 50 pro boxing fights and acquired belts in different weight classes.

9. Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Net worth: 600 million USD
Sport: Basketball
Age: 42
Country: United States

One of the greatest athletes to ever step foot on a basketball court is Kobe Bryant, who tragically passed away in 2020. Just three years after his entry into the NBA, Kobe, and Shaq led the Los Angeles Lakers to three consecutive championships. In 2009 and 2010, the Lakers collected two more titles, with Kobe being named NBA final MVP on both occasions. His success on the court and fame brought him shoe deals and endorsements from Adidas, Nike, Coca-Cola, Turkish Airlines, Mc Donald, and Nintendo.

10. Lebron James

Lebron James

Net worth: 450 million USD
Sport: Basketball
Age: 36
Country: United States

Nicknamed King James, Lebron is one of the most famous sports celebrities in the world. Arguably considered the best basketball player of all time or second to Michael Jordan, Lebron James has dominated the NBA scene since his first game in the league. Before entering the NBA in the 2003 Draft, Lebron inked a $90 million contract with Nike, the largest endorsement deal for someone at his age. Right from the beginning of his successful and ongoing NBA career, Lebron signed endorsement deals after endorsement deals, from Gatorade, State Farm, Beats by Dre, and more.

11. Eddie Jordan

Eddie Jordan

Net worth: 475 million USD
Sport: Motorsport Racing
Age: 73
Country: Ireland

Former race car driver Eddie Jordan is a motorsport racing legend who used his experience and knowledge in pro sport driving to build a business empire. In 1991, the Irish businessman created the Jordan Grand Prix formula, one team. Under his management, the team remained competitive and attracted multiple endorsements before selling the enterprise to the Midland group.

12. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Net worth: 460 million USD
Sport: Soccer
Age: 36
Country: Portugal

With an Instagram following of 215 million followers, CR7 is not only the most famous athlete in the world but one of the best soccer players who ever lived. Ronaldo’s rise to stardom began with Manchester United, where he won the premier league twice, best player twice, and best scorer before leaving for Real Madrid in 2008. Playing for Real Madrid, Ronaldo continued his ascension in soccer and expanded his brand outside the field. Currently the highest-paid athlete globally. CR7 signed endorsement deals with Nike, Fifa video game, Herbalife, Tag Heuer, and Toyota.

13. David Beckham

David Beckham

Net worth: 450 million USD
Sport: Soccer
Age: 45
Country: United Kingdom

One of the best soccer players in his prime and the man behind the famous phrase ‘bend it like Beckham’ David was born on May 2, 1975, in London. David Beckham relentlessly perfected his game and was signed to the Manchester United youth squad, which included Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, and Paul Scholes, who all ended making the first team and won multiple championships for United. Endorsement off the field and business venture made him one of the wealthiest athletes and helped him prepare for a business career after soccer.

14. Roger Federer

Roger Federer

Net Worth: 450 million USD
Sport: Tennis
Age: 39
Country: Switzerland

Widely recognized as the greatest Tennis player of all time, Roger Federer’s dominance on the tennis court made him one of the highest-paid athletes in the past twenty years. After a successful junior career where Federer played over 150 games and won Wimbledon in 1998, he decided to turn pro. After winning a couple of tournaments and beating top players from 2000 to 2002, Federer leaped, becoming one of the best tennis players in 2003. Over the past twenty years, Federer signed endorsement deals with Rolex, Gillette, Nike, Uniqlo, Lindt, Wilson, and more.

15. Bud Selig

Bud Selig

Net worth: 400 million USD
Sport: Baseball
Age: 86
Country: United States

Unlike most of the athletes on this list, Bud Selig never played the pro sport but has been deeply involved in pro baseball. Bud’s connection to professional baseball goes back to 1965 when he invested in the Milwaukee Brewers’ minor-league team. Selig bought the Seattle Pilots, moved them to Milwaukee, and renamed them the Milwaukee Brewers. In 1992, Selig became the acting commissioner of the MLB, a title he kept until 2015.

16. Michael Buffer

Michael Buffer

Net worth: 400 million USD
Sport: Boxing
Age: 76
Country: United States

The man who popularized the phrase “let’s get ready to rumble,” Michael Buffer, makes the list of the wealthiest athletes of all time. Michael Buffer was not a professional boxer, but his connection and impact on boxing made him part of this group. He served in the U.S. Army for three years before starting a modeling career. It’s only after seeing a couple of fights on television that he thought he could do better than what announcers were doing at the time. Now, Michael Buffer’s net worth is estimated at $400 Million.

17. Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O'Neal

Net worth: 400 million USD
Sport: Basketball
Age: 49
Country: United States

Born on March 6, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey, Shaq grew up with his mother and adoptive father, Phillip Harisson, an Army Sergeant. Shaq started his basketball career after the family relocated to San Antonio. Upon entering the NBA, paired with young phenom Kobe Bryant, the Lakers went on to win three NBA championships from 2000 to 2002 before Shaq’s departure to Miami in 2004. After twenty seasons in the NBA, Shaq retired as one of the most dominant NBA history players. Throughout his career, Shaq signed endorsement deals with major brands such as Reebok, Nestle, Pepsi, and more.

18. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Net worth: 400 million
Sport: Soccer
Age: 33
Country: Argentina

Arguably the best soccer player of all time, Lionel Messi’s creativity and technical skill are nothing like we’ve ever seen before. Born on June 24, 1987, in Rosario, Argentina, Messi joined Newell’s Old Boys youth squad and scored close to 500 goals. On his 18th birthday, Messi signed his first contract for Barcelona’s first team. Over the next decade, Messi asserted himself as the best player of his time and arguably the best, winning six ballon d’Or, four champion league, and ten Liga championships.

19. Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson

Net worth: 400 million USD
Sport: Golf
Age: 50
Country: United States

Nicknamed Lefty, Phil Mickelson is an American professional golfer and winner of 44 PGA tour events. Born on June 16, 1970, in San Diego, California, Phil started golfing under his father’s tutelage. In 1992, Mickelson graduated from ASU and turned pro. This was the beginning of a successful and ongoing career where he attracted endorsement from Rolex, Ford, Barclay, KPMG, Callaway Golf, and many others.

20. Vinnie Johnson

Vinnie Johnson

Net worth: 400 million USD
Sport: Basketball
Age: 64
Country: United States

Ex-NBA player Vincent Johnson, nicknamed the microwave for his ability to catch fire and score points rapidly, was an excellent backup for basketball legend Isiah Thomas. After winning two championships with the Detroit Piston, Vinnie retired in 1992 and founded the Piston Group venture. Today, the Piston Group owns four companies in the automotive and energy business, employing 10,000 employees and grossing upward of $2 Billion a year.

21. Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez

Net worth: 350 million USD
Sport: Baseball
Age: 45
Country: United States

New York Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez is reported to be baseball’s highest yearly salary earner. Born in New York Heights, New York, A-Rod quickly named himself in the baseball scene from a young age. Rodriguez played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and New York Yankees. In December 2007, Rodriguez and the New York Yankees agreed to a 10-year, $275 million contracts. This contract was the richest in baseball history, breaking the previous record of $252 million.

22. The Rock Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson

Net worth: 320 million USD
Sport: Wrestling
Age: 48
Country: United States

Popularly known as The Rock, Dwayne Johnson is an American actor and professional wrestler. He grew up in Hayward, California, where he played college football at the University of Miami. He later made a transition to professional wrestling when he debuted in the ring in 1996. Apart from being a wrestler, he is most famous for his appearance in film projects like The Rundown, Walking Tall, Be Cool, Gridiron Gang, Get Smart, and more. He is ranked as one of the highest-paid actors and made it to the Time 100 Most Influential People in the World list in 2016 and 2019.

23. Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus

Net worth: 320 million USD
Sport: Golf
Age: 81
Country: United States

American professional golfer Jack Nicklaus is considered the most accomplished professional golfer of all time. Jack Nicklaus won 18 major career championships throughout his professional golfing career and often played for Open Championship, U.S. Open, PGA Championship, and Masters Tournament. Throughout the long span of his pro career, he has earned 115 professional wins, and in 1974, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

24. Greg Norman

Greg Norman

Net worth: 300 million USD
Sport: Golf
Age: 64
Country: Australia

Gregory John Norman is a world-renowned golfer, and before he retired, Greg Norman became the World’s No. 1 for a total of 331 weeks during the 1980s and 1990s. He participated and won in 85 international and major golf tournaments and was able to win 31 PGA Tour of Australasia.

Besides golf, Greg is also an entrepreneur who engaged himself in many business ventures such as Valderrama Golf Course, Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy, Greg Norman Turf Company.

25. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

Net worth: 285 million USD
Sport: Formula One Racing
Age: 36
Country: United Kingdom

British Formula One racing sensation Lewis Hamilton is Britain’s richest young sportsman, aged 30 and under. At the age of 23, he won the Formula One world title in his second season in 2008. His world championship victory penned him a five-year contract to drive for McLaren Mercedes and keep him on magazine fronts. Formula Money estimated he could earn £380m over his career. Britain’s highest-earning sportsman has endorsement deals with Tag Heuer watches and Reebok, which have increased his net worth significantly.

26. George Foreman

George Edward Foreman

Net worth: 250 million USD
Sport: Boxing
Age: 71
Country: United States

Retired American professional boxer George Edward Foreman is a former two-time World Heavyweight Champion, Olympic gold medalist, ordained Baptist minister, author, and successful entrepreneur. He grew up poor in Marshall, Texas, with love for boxing at a young age. Foreman would eventually win a gold medal at the 1968 Olympics, and his big payday came in 1999 when he bagged $138 million for selling naming rights to grill manufacturer Salton. Boxing record: Total fights: 81, Wins: 76, Wins by KO: 68, Losses: 5, Draws: 0, No contests: 0

27. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Net worth: 225 million USD
Sport: Race Car Driving
Age: 45
Country: United States

Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is a third-generation American stock car racer with a net worth of $225 million, which he earned from his career as a racing car driver owning his team. Dale was born on January 2, 1952, and was raised near Kannapolis, North Carolina. Dale’s racing career started when he was just 17 years of age, but his high net worth can only be credited to his side ventures. Dale owns a media production company called Hammerhead Entertainment” and has appeared in several movies like Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Herbie: Fully loaded, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

28. Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso

Net worth: 240 million USD
Sport: Formula One Racing
Age: 39
Country: Spain

Fernando Alonso is a Formula One racing legend and is often regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers in the sport’s history. Born in Oviedo, Asturias, to a working-class family, he began go-karting at three and achieved success in local, national, and world championships. Just 24 years old, Fernando Alonso led the Renault team to the 2005 Constructors’ Championship, thus ending the reign of the Michael Schumacher-Ferrari combination that had dominated for so long. After 18 seasons and over 300 Grands Prix, Fernando Alonso’s success record stood at 32 wins, 22 poles, and 97 podiums.

29. Paul Caddick

Paul Caddick

Net worth: 225 million USD
Sport: Rugby
Age: 69
Country: United Kingdom

Retired British rugby player and business mogul Paul Caddick has accrued an impressive net worth of $225 million. His playing career was curtailed after he injured his neck when a scrum collapsed in 1980, but that was by no means the end of his rugby involvement. Having started work as a site engineer in the 1960s, Caddick founded Caddick Group, a civil engineering business in Yorkshire, which has evolved into a property-to-construction group.

30. Serena Williams

Serena Williams

Net worth: 225 million USD
Sport: Tennis
Age: 39
Country: United States

Serena Jameka Williams was born on September 26, 1981, in Saginaw, Michigan, and along with her sister Venus Williams, they dominated the tennis scene for a long time now. Serena Williams has been ranked number one in the world five times and has earned the most prize money of any female athlete ever. She won Gold Medals at both the Sydney and Beijing Olympics. She continues to be the most feared player in the game of Tennis, and her 13 singles Grand Slam titles put her among the all-time greats.

31. Dave Whelan

Dave Whelan

Net worth: 220 million USD
Sport: Soccer
Age: 84
Country: United Kingdom

Dave Whelan is a successful businessman and a former professional footballer. He began his career playing in the English Football League from 1956 to 1966, playing for Blackburn Rovers, then in the First Division. His career came to an abrupt end at the 1960 F.A. Cup Final, when he broke his leg after a hefty tackle. Before finishing his career as an athlete, he had already begun his successful foray into business, and In 1977 he acquired JJB Sports and built it into a successful chain of sports goods shops.

32. Neymar Jr

Neymar Jr

Net worth: 200 million USD
Sport: Soccer
Age: 29
Country: Brazil

Neymar is a famous Brazilian football player with an estimated net worth of $185 million. In May 2013, he signed a five-year contract with F.C. Barcelona, where his career took off. Known for his impressive finishing, dribbling, speed, and acceleration, Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior has been a recipient of many awards, including the FIFA Puskás Award and the South American Footballer of the Year award in 2011 and 2012. In May 2013, he was named the most marketable athlete on the planet by SportsPro magazine. He topped the list over other world-renowned athletes like Usain Bolt, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi. He currently plays in France for PSG.

33. Ken Block

Ken Block

Net worth: 200 million USD
Sport: Rally Driver
Age: 53
Country: United States

Ken Block is a professional American rally driver with an estimated net worth of $200 million. Ken Block started his rallying career with the Vermont SportsCar team in 2005. A year later, he got a sponsorship deal with Subaru and competed at the X Games XVII, where he finished third. He also competed at the 2006 Rally America National Championship, where he ranked second overall. Apart from being a rally driver, he is D.C. Shoes’ co-founder and Chief Brand Officer.

34. Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen

Net worth: 200 million USD
Sport: Formula One Racing
Age: 41
Country: Finnish

Currently driving for Lotus of Formula One, Kimi Raikkonen is a Finnish professional race car driver with an estimated net worth of $200 million. In 2007, he began racing for Ferrari, where he became the highest-paid racer in motorsport with his annual salary of $51 million. On his debut year with Ferrari, he earned his first Formula One World Drivers’ Championship after defeating Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. Apart from Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikonnen is one of the two F1 drivers who could make it to The Celebrity 100 of Forbes Magazine.

35. Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky

Net worth: 200 million USD
Sport: Ice Hockey
Age: 60
Country: Canada

Born as Wayne Douglas Gretzky in Ontario, Canada, on January 26, 1961, Wayne Gretzky is a retired Canadian professional hockey player and head coach. Throughout his 20-year hockey career, Gretzky has played with four teams and is currently considered the leading scorer in NHL’s history. NHL players and many sportswriters name Gretzky as the greatest hockey player of all time. He officially retired from the NHL in 1999, and shortly, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

36. Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon

Net worth: 200 million USD
Sport: Basketball
Age: 58
Country: United States

An inductee to the Basketball Hall of Fame, Hakeem Olajuwon is a Nigerian-American former basketball player and coach for the Houston Rockets. He spent almost 18 years of his life playing the center position for the Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association. While playing for the University of Houston, he was selected as the first overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft and John Stockton, Charles Barkley, and Michael Jordan. His career’s glorious years came during the 1993-94 season when he won the NBA MVP, Finals MVP, and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. He was also selected as one of the Greatest Players in the history of the NBA. After his successful NBA career, Hakeem Olajuwon invested in real estate in Houston, Texas, and made over $100 million profits from this venture.

37. John Madden

John Madden

Net worth: 200 million USD
Sport: American Football
Age: 84
Country: United States

Former American professional football player, football coach, and sportscaster, John Madden has an estimated net worth of $200 million. After an aborted career as a professional football player, Madden began coaching. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted him but never made the active roster because of an early knee injury. John Madden coached the Oakland Raiders to victory in Super Bowl XI and became one of America’s best-known football announcers.
In 1980 Madden turned his talents to broadcasting and spent the next three decades as an NFL color commentator for CBS, Fox, ABC, and NBC, becoming known for his eager exclamations and goofy sense of humor.

38. Oscar De La Hoya

Oscar De La Hoya

Net worth: 200 million USD
Sport: Boxing
Age: 48
Country: United States

Oscar De La Hoya is a retired American professional boxer of Mexican descent and the highest-earning fighter of all time. ­He has earned his net worth through his winnings as a boxer in six different weight divisions with ten world titles and his business, Golden Boy Promotions, which he put up to take control of his fights. In his amateur career, he had 234 wins with 163 knockouts, and only six losses were six of these came at the hands of Shane Mosley.

39. Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning

Net worth: 200 million USD
Sport: American Football
Age: 45
Country: United States

Former American football quarterback Peyton Manning played 14 seasons from 1998–2011 for the Indianapolis Colts before moving to the Denver Broncos, where he played from 2012-2015. Manning compiled a brilliant record that puts him among elite NFL quarterbacks like Brett Favre and Steve Young. After winning his first MVP award in 2003, Manning went on to capture the award four more times (2004, 2008, 2009, and 2013), becoming the first NFL player ever to achieve that distinction. Also, he became the fastest player to compile 50,000 career yards and 4,000 completions.

40. Richard Childress

Richard Childress

Net worth: 200 million USD
Sport: NASCAR
Age: 75
Country: United States

Richard Childress is a former NASCAR driver who has an estimated net worth of $200 million. Born on September 21, 1945, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and in 1983, he won with his driver Ricky Rudd. Since then, he began to recruit additional drivers to his team, including Dale Earnhardt, who went on to win several championships. His Richard Childress Racing team has been one of the most successful teams in the history of NASCAR. Aside from his work with NASCAR, he is one entrepreneur who became one of the wealthiest men in North Carolina.

41. Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

Net worth: 195 million USD
Sport: Tennis
Age: 33
Country: Russia

Russian professional tennis player and model Maria Sharapova made her professional breakthrough in 2004, at age 17, when she defeated two-time defending champion Serena Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final to win her first Grand Slam singles title. She became the 3rd youngest woman to win the Wimbledon title, behind Martina Hingis and Lottie Dod. According to Forbes, despite not having a good record on court, Sharapova remains the world’s top-earning female athlete. Sharapova’s portfolio extends beyond Tennis; she has been featured in several high-profile modeling assignments, like the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and in many advertisements with Nike, Prince, and Canon.

42. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Net worth: 190 million USD
Sport: Soccer
Age: 39
Country: Sweden

Zlatan was born in 1981 in Malmö, Sweden, an infamous neighborhood Rosengård known for being one of Sweden’s roughest areas. After playing for a local Swedish Club for a couple of years, he transferred to Malmö F.F. in his teens, and it was here he started to pursue a career as a professional footballer. Ibrahimović has won 11 league titles in four separate countries throughout his career while representing Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Ajax Amsterdam, AC Milan, and Inter Milan and leading his clubs to numerous other major championships.

43. Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao

Net worth: 190 million USD
Sport: Boxing
Age: 42
Country: United States

Born December 17, 1978, in Mindanao, Philippines, professional boxer, media celebrity, and politician Manny Pacquiao became world-famous for winning boxing titles in more weight classes than any other boxer in history. Pacquiao engaged in a series of high-profile fights, winning the World Boxing Association (WBA) and IBF featherweight titles, the WBC and The Ring’s junior lightweight titles, and the WBC lightweight title. While still regarded by many as the best boxer in the sport right now, ‘Pac-Man’ Manny Pacquiao is also busy outside the ring. He was elected a member of the Philippines’ Congress in May 2010 and the only active boxer to become a congressman in the Philippines.

44. Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter

Net worth: 190 million USD
Sport: Baseball
Age: 46
Country: United States

American baseball shortstop Derek Jeter is one of the most popular and highest-paid athletes in American history. He is also baseball’s top earner off the field with an annual income of $9 million through his partnerships with Nike’s Jordan brand, Gillette, Ford, Rawlings, Movado, and Steiner Sports. Jeter joined the minor leagues directly after high school and spent four years advancing from single-A to triple-A-level teams. Jeter continues to be baseball’s most marketable player with an impressive endorsement portfolio that includes Nike, Gatorade, Gillette, Ford, and Movado.

45. Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

Net worth: 190 million
Sport: Basketball
Age: 44
Country: United States

Kevin Garnett is a former American professional basketball player and Hall of Famer. After attending the Farragut Career Academy, Garnett became the 5th overall pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1995 NBA Draft. He won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 2004, and during the 2007-08 season, he was awarded as the NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Garnett played 21 seasons with the NBA, and he earned a total salary of $291 million throughout those years.

46. Sir Tony O’Reilly

Sir Tony O’Reilly

Net worth: 180 million
Sport: Rugby
Age: 84
Country: Ireland

Born as Sir Anthony Joseph Francis O’Reilly, he’s a businessman and a former international rugby union player. O’Reilly is primarily known for his involvement in the Independent News & Media Group which he led back in 1973 until 2009. Sir Tony O’Reilly’s net worth came from The H.J. Heinz Company, where he used to be the CEO and Chairman. Thanks to his businesses, O’Reilly is perhaps Ireland’s sole billionaire and remains one of its wealthiest citizens. The bulk of Sir Tony O’Reilly’s net worth rose through varied business deals, which includes a 20% share in Provident Resources and selling Swiss-based metering company Landis & Gyr to Toshiba.

47. Grant Hill

Grant Hill

Net worth: 180 million
Sport: Basketball
Age: 48
Country: United States

Grant Hill is a retired American professional basketball player who has an estimated net worth of $180 million. Grant Hill started his journey as a basketball player when he joined Duke University’s Blue Devils. The Detroit Pistons chose Hill during the NBA Draft in 1994, and he received the NBA Rookie of the Year honors that year. Upon leaving the Pistons, Hill became an unrestricted free agent and signed a contract with the Orlando Magic. Aside from playing in the NBA, Hill also participated in the Olympics as Team USA won the gold medal during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

48. Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Net worth: 180 million USD
Sport: American Football
Age: 43
Country: United States

American football quarterback Tom Brady is considered the most significant American footballer of all time. He spent his first 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, where he was a central contributor to the Patriots dynasty and now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tom Brady has accumulated the most wins in NFL history, amassing 263 total victories in the regular season and postseason combined. The legendary quarterback has won an incredible 33 games in the postseason, which is more than two full NFL regular seasons’ worth of victories. The quarterback clinched his 34th postseason victory after defeating the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs in 2021.

49. Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi

Net worth: 175 million USD
Sport: Tennis
Age: 50
Country: United States

Andre Agassi is a retired professional Tennis player and began playing professionally in 1986. Andre was ranked number one globally and is one of only two male tennis players to have a Career Golden Slam. Agassi won more than 850 singles matches in his career, including 60 titles, 8 Grand Slams, and an Olympic Gold Medal. His father, a former Olympic boxer for Iran, is of Assyrian-Armenian descent and was an Olympic boxer for Iran in 1948 and 1952 before emigrating to Chicago. Andre is the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation founder, which works with at-risk children in Nevada and funds a K-12 charter school.

50. Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan

Net worth: 130 million USD
Sport: Basketball
Age: 44
Country: United States

Retired American professional basketball player Timothy Theodore Duncan has an estimated net worth of $177 million and played for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association as a power forward or center. Tim Duncan is a four-time NBA champion, two-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA Finals MVP, and NBA Rookie of the Year. Duncan can make a strong case as the most extraordinary power forward to ever play the game, with four titles, two MVP awards, and nine selections to the All-NBA first team.


The Top 10 highest PAID athletes of all time

It’s important to note that the above rankings of the richest athletes of all time takes into consideration the NET WORTHS of each athlete. This is different from the salary and career earnings of each athlete.

What’s the difference between? Why the distinction between net worth and career earnings?

If you’ll notice, the total career earnings can be a lot higher than the net worths of athletes. And this is because career earnings are taxed heavily as salary. In other cases, you’ll notice that some athletes didn’t make nearly as much from their sports as they did from their other business ventures. Net worths take all wealth and assets into consideration such as investments, properties, and of course salary.

Here is a list of the highest earning athletes of all time (in salary & endorsements)

RANK NAME SPORT NATION EARNINGS
1 Michael Jordan Basketball United States $1.85B
2 Tiger Woods Golf United States $1.7B
3 Arnold Palmer Golf United States $1.4B
4 Jack Nicklaus Golf United States $1.2B
5 Michael Schumacher Auto racing Germany $1B
6 Phil Mickelson Golf United States $815M
7 Kobe Bryant Basketball United States $800M
David Beckham Association football England
9 Floyd Mayweather Jr. Boxing United States $785M
10 Shaquille O’Neal Basketball United States $735M