Top 100 highest paid athletes in the World lead by Conor McGregor, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Here is the list of highest paid athletes in the world in the year 2021. It is lead by Conor McGregor, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Lionel Messi, Conor McGregor and Cristiano Ronaldo, the top 100 highest paid athletes in the World
Lionel Messi, Conor McGregor and Cristiano Ronaldo

Despite the pandemic ravaging the World, the top 100 highest paid athletes of the World didn’t seize to add a good fortune to their earnings last year. The top 100 of the list features athletes from 10 sports and 23 countries. The National Football League, the richest sports league in the world, boasts 32 players in the top 100, more than any other sport.

Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor after becoming the first ever two-division champion

Renowned MMA fighter Conor McGregor tops the list having amassed a whopping sum of 208 million USD in 2020. A good part of his fortune came from him selling his Irish whiskey brand Proper No. Twelve to Proximo Spirits. The deal added a staggering 180 million USD to his earnings while he made a mere 28 million as salary.

Soccer megastars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo make up the top three of the list along with McGregor. Messi added 126 million USD to his fortune while Ronaldo made 120 million USD. Barring the greats of the game, numerous other football players pepper the top 100 rankings. The likes Neymar, Antoine Griezmann and Gareth Bale feature in the top 50.

LeBron James
LeBron James Net Worth Stands at $500 Million in 2021

Barring NFL and soccer stars, NBA too has a nice share in the rankings as it boasts 31 players among the top 100 highest paid athletes. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is fifth on the list having made almost 102 million USD last year. Barring him, fellow NBA stars Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry feature in the top 10.

Captain of the Indian cricket team Virat Kohli is the lone Indian to feature in the list. Kohli, who is placed at 59 in the rankings, is also the only cricketer to make it to the list. He made 31 million USD last year out of which 28 million came from his endorsements. on the other hand, MMA and boxing stars were represented by only McGregor and Canelo Álvarez among the top 100 highest paid athletes.

List of top 100 highest paid athletes in the World

RANKATHLETETEAM/SportsSALARY/WINNINGENDORSEMENTSTOTAL
1Conor McGregorMMA$28M$180M$208M
2Lionel MessiBarcelona$91M$35M$126M
3Cristiano RonaldoJuventus$70M$50M$120M
4Dak PrescottDallas Cowboys$97.4M$11M$108.4M
5LeBron JamesLos Angeles Lakers$31.8M$70M$101.8M
6NeymarParis Saint-Germain$75M$25M$100M
7Roger FedererTennis$46K$84M$84M
8Tom BradyTampa Bay Buccaneers$58.4M$22M$80.4M
9Kevin DurantBrooklyn Nets$32.1M$48M$80.1M
10Stephen CurryGolden State Warriors$34.5M$40M$74.5M
11Lewis HamiltonMercedes$50M$14M$64M
12Canelo ÁlvarezBoxing$61M$2M$63M
13Tiger WoodsGolf$191K$62M$62.2M
14Russell WestbrookWashington Wizards$33.1M$28M$61.1M
15Naomi OsakaTennis$5.2M$50M$55.2M
16James HardenBrooklyn Nets$33.1M$18M$51.1M
17Giannis AntetokounmpoMilwaukee Bucks$22.2M$27M$49.2M
18David BakhtiariGreen Bay Packers$48M$250K$48.2M
19Ronnie StanleyBaltimore Ravens$47.1M$100K$47.2M
20Patrick MahomesKansas City Chiefs$32.5M$14M$46.5M
21Phil MickelsonGolf$4.1M$42M$46.1M
22Joey BosaLos Angeles Chargers$43M$750K$43.8M
23Klay ThompsonGolden State Warriors$28.3M$15M$43.3M
24Kyrie IrvingBrooklyn Nets$26.2M$17M$43.2M
25Trent WilliamsSan Francisco 49ers$42.8M$75K$42.9M
26Myles GarrettCleveland Browns$42.5M$300K$42.8M
27Jalen RamseyLos Angeles Rams$42.2M$400K$42.6M
28Gareth BaleTottenham Hotspur$35.9M$6M$41.9M
29Dustin JohnsonGolf$24.8M$16M$40.8M
30Antoine GriezmannBarcelona$34.6M$6M$40.6M
31Damian LillardPortland Trail Blazers$25.4M$15M$40.4M
32Chris PaulPhoenix Suns$33.2M$7M$40.2M
33Kylian MbappéParis Saint-Germain$29.1M$11M$40.1M
34DeAndre HopkinsArizona Cardinals$38M$1.5M$39.5M
35Andrés IniestaVissel Kobe$30M$9M$39M
36Leonard WilliamsNew York Giants$38.6M$200K$38.8M
37Marlon HumphreyBaltimore Ravens$37.1M$250K$37.3M
38Paul GeorgeLos Angeles Clippers$28.5M$8.5M$37M
39Anthony DavisLos Angeles Lakers$26.6M$10M$36.6M
39Francisco LindorNew York Mets$34.6M$2M$36.6M
41Chris JonesKansas City Chiefs$36.1M$100K$36.2M
41Shaquil BarrettTampa Bay Buccaneers$36M$200K$36.2M
43Mohamed SalahLiverpool$25.1M$11M$36.1M
44Serena WilliamsTennis$1.5M$34M$35.5M
45Deshaun WatsonHouston Texans$29.4M$6M$35.4M
46Matt JudonNew England Patriots$34.8M$150K$35M
47Jimmy ButlerMiami Heat$27.8M$7M$34.8M
48J.J. WattArizona Cardinals$27.5M$7M$34.5M
48John WallHouston Rockets$33M$1.5M$34.5M
50Paul PogbaManchester United$27.4M$7M$34.4M
51Kawhi LeonardLos Angeles Clippers$27.6M$6M$33.6M
52Novak DjokovicTennis$4.4M$29M$33.4M
53Eden HazardReal Madrid$29M$4M$33M
54Rory McIlroyGolf$4.8M$28M$32.8M
55Ben SimmonsPhiladelphia 76ers$24.6M$8M$32.6M
56Bud DupreeTennessee Titans$31.8M$150K$32M
57Joe ThuneyKansas City Chiefs$31.8M$75K$31.9M
58Robert LewandowskiBayern Munich$26.6M$5M$31.6M
59Virat KohliRoyal Challengers Bangalore$3.5M$28M$31.5M
60Devin BookerPhoenix Suns$23.6M$7M$30.6M
60Kemba WalkerBoston Celtics$27.6M$3M$30.6M
62Blake GriffinBrooklyn Nets$27M$3M$30M
63Tyler LockettSeattle Seahawks$29.2M$600K$29.8M
64Joel EmbiidPhiladelphia 76ers$23.7M$6M$29.7M
65Jordan SpiethGolf$4.6M$25M$29.6M
66Joe BurrowCincinnati Bengals$24.5M$4.5M$29M
66Khalil MackChicago Bears$28.5M$500K$29M
66Tobias HarrisPhiladelphia 76ers$27.5M$1.5M$29M
69D’Angelo RussellMinnesota Timberwolves$22.9M$6M$28.9M
70Mike ConleyUtah Jazz$27.7M$1M$28.7M
71Cameron HeywardPittsburgh Steelers$28.4M$200K$28.6M
71DeForest BucknerIndianapolis Colts$28.4M$200K$28.6M
73Kevin De BruyneManchester City$25M$3.5M$28.5M
74David de GeaManchester United$25.9M$2.5M$28.4M
74Mike TroutLos Angeles Angels$24.9M$3.5M$28.4M
76Zion WilliamsonNew Orleans Pelicans$8.2M$20M$28.2M
77Kristaps PorziņģisDallas Mavericks$23.6M$4.5M$28.1M
78Russell WilsonSeattle Seahawks$18M$10M$28M
78Sebastian VettelAston Martin$27M$1M$28M
80Donovan SmithTampa Bay Buccaneers$27.8M$50K$27.8M
81Raheem SterlingManchester City$23.2M$4.5M$27.7M
82CJ McCollumPortland Trail Blazers$23.5M$4M$27.5M
83Ángel Di MaríaParis Saint-Germain$24.7M$2.5M$27.2M
84Khris MiddletonMilwaukee Bucks$26.6M$500K$27.1M
85Kevin LoveCleveland Cavaliers$25M$2M$27M
86Kenny ClarkGreen Bay Packers$26.7M$150K$26.9M
87Stephen StrasburgWashington Nationals$26.3M$400K$26.7M
88Justin SimmonsDenver Broncos$26.4M$150K$26.6M
88Karl-Anthony TownsMinnesota Timberwolves$23.6M$3M$26.6M
88Kei NishikoriTennis$554K$26M$26.6M
88Tre’Davious WhiteBuffalo Bills$26.3M$300K$26.6M
92Matthew StaffordLos Angeles Rams$25M$1.5M$26.5M
92Rafael NadalTennis$3.5M$23M$26.5M
94Taylor DeckerDetroit Lions$26.4M$75K$26.4M
95Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing$24M$2.3M$26.3M
96DeMar DeRozanSan Antonio Spurs$22.2M$4M$26.2M
96Philippe CoutinhoBarcelona$24.2M$2M$26.2M
98Clayton KershawLos Angeles Dodgers$24.8M$1.3M$26.1M
98Laremy TunsilHouston Texans$26M$50K$26.1M
100Kyle LowryToronto Raptors$24.5M$1.5M$26M

Tennis stars Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams are the only female entrants in the list of top 100 highest paid athletes. Osaka made a female athlete record 55.1 million in total earnings, including 50 million in endorsements while Serena made 35.5 million to finish in the top 50.

Despite appearances going down by a staggering 86 percent, the athletes got to keep their entire salary. According to estimates of Sportico, the top 100 highest paid athletes in the world made a total of 4.2 billion USD last year. Of the total income of the top 100 highest paid athletes 2.9 billion USD came in salary and prize money while $1.3 billion USD were made off the field or court from endorsements, licensing, memorabilia and appearances over the last 12 months.

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