Forbes’ latest ranking reveals that Cristiano Ronaldo, the soccer star who left Manchester United for a two-and-a-half-year contract with Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr team, has become The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes 2023.
The 38-year-old earned $136 million over the past twelve months, with $46 million coming from his on-pitch performance and $90 million from off-field sources between May 1, 2022, and May 1, 2023.
The world of sports has always been a lucrative business for top-performing athletes. These athletes rake in millions of dollars annually with endorsements, prize money, and salary contracts. In 2023, the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes is dominated by familiar names, showcasing these stars’ global appeal and earning potential.
The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes 2023
1. Cristiano Ronaldo: $136M
Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo tops the list with earnings of $136 million. Ronaldo’s income includes his salary from playing for Manchester United, endorsements, and his CR7 brand, which spans clothing, footwear, and fragrances.
2. Lionel Messi: $130M
Argentinian soccer legend Lionel Messi ranks second, earning $130 million. Messi’s income comes from his salary at Paris Saint-Germain, endorsements, and his brand, which features a range of products from sportswear to fragrances.
3. Kylian Mbappé: $120M
French soccer prodigy Kylian Mbappé comes in third place, earning $120 million. Much of his income comes from his salary at Paris Saint-Germain and endorsements with major brands such as Nike.
4. LeBron James: $120M
NBA superstar LeBron James ties with Mbappé, also earning $120 million. James’ income is a result of his lucrative contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, endorsements, and his own production company, SpringHill Entertainment.
5. Canelo Álvarez: $110M
Mexican boxing sensation Canelo Álvarez takes the fifth spot, earning $110 million. Álvarez’s income primarily comes from his fight purses and endorsements, with major brands such as Under Armour and Tecate.
6. Dustin Johnson: $107M
American golfer Dustin Johnson ranks sixth with earnings of $107 million. Johnson’s income is derived from tournament winnings, endorsements, and partnerships with leading golf brands like TaylorMade and Adidas.
7. Phil Mickelson: $106M
Veteran golfer Phil Mickelson comes in seventh place, earning $106 million. Mickelson’s income includes tournament winnings, endorsements, and partnerships with major brands such as Callaway, KPMG, and Rolex.
8. Stephen Curry: $100M
NBA sharpshooter Stephen Curry ranks eighth with earnings of $100 million. Curry’s income comes from his contract with the Golden State Warriors, endorsements, and his brand, SC30, which includes sportswear and accessories.
9. Roger Federer: $95.1M
Tennis legend Roger Federer takes the ninth spot, earning $95.1 million. Federer’s income results from his career prize money, endorsements, and his brand, RF, which features sportswear and accessories.
10. Kevin Durant: $89.1M
NBA star Kevin Durant rounds out the top ten, earning $89.1 million. Durant’s income comes from his contract with the Brooklyn Nets, endorsements, and his own media company, Thirty-Five Ventures.
These top-earning athletes exemplify the lucrative nature of the sports industry and showcase the global appeal of soccer, basketball, boxing, golf, and tennis. Their successes on and off the field continue to inspire future generations of athletes, while their earnings set the benchmark for the sports world.
The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes 2023
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Soccer) – $136M
- Lionel Messi (Soccer) – $130M
- Kylian Mbappé (Soccer) – $120M
- LeBron James (Basketball) – $120M
- Canelo Álvarez (Boxing) – $110M
- Dustin Johnson (Golf) – $107M
- Phil Mickelson (Golf) – $106M
- Stephen Curry (Basketball) – $100M
- Roger Federer (Tennis) – $95.1M
- Kevin Durant (Basketball) – $89.1M
FAQ: World’s Highest-Paid Athletes 2023
Who will be the highest-paid athlete in the world in 2023?
Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest-paid athlete in 2023, earning $136 million.
How are the earnings of the highest-paid athletes calculated?
The earnings are calculated by combining their salaries, prize money, endorsements, and other income sources such as personal brands and media companies.
Which sport has the most athletes in the top ten highest-paid list?
Soccer has the most athletes in the top ten list, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Kylian Mbappé.
Are there any female athletes in the top ten highest-paid list for 2023?
No, the top ten highest-paid athletes list for 2023 excludes female athletes.
How many basketball players are in the top ten highest-paid athletes list for 2023
Three basketball players are in the top ten list – LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant.
Which athlete has the highest endorsement earnings in the top ten list?
Roger Federer is known for having high endorsement earnings, but the specific amount for 2023 is not provided in the list. The list combines salaries, prize money, and endorsements to calculate total payments.
Are there any newcomers to the top ten highest-paid athletes list in 2023?
Kylian Mbappé, the French soccer prodigy, is a notable newcomer, ranking third with earnings of $120 million.
Which golfer ranks highest in the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes in 2023
Dustin Johnson is the highest-ranked golfer, placing sixth with earnings of $107 million.
Which tennis player is featured in the top ten list of highest-paid athletes in 2023
Roger Federer is the only tennis player in the top ten list, ranking ninth with earnings of $95.1 million.
How often is the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes updated?
Forbes releases the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes annually, covering earnings from May 1 of the previous year to May 1 of the current year.