Top 25 highest paid athletes in the world in 2024

Here are the 25 highest earning athletes who are breaking records with their paychecks.


Top 25 highest paid athletes in the world in 2024

Highest earning athletes in the world (via FS)

Be it the NBA, NFL, tennis, or football, superstars of their sport are bagging hefty paychecks every season. From LeBron James to Lionel Messi, today we will take a look at the highest-paid athletes in the world, who are not only dishing out never-before-seen numbers but also securing incredible paydays.

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Based on the players’ current terms with their respective teams, we have calculated their on-court and off-court earnings separately. The list is based on their total annual earnings and yearly revenues.

Here are the 25 highest paid athletes in the world from the top leagues and circuits in the sports industry. Check out if your favorite athlete made the list.

25. Russell Westbrook

The LA Clippers star Russell Westbrook is the 25th highest paid athlete in the world. The 36-year-old is making a whopping $54 million annually from his brand endorsements and NBA salaries.

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Russell Westbrook one of the highest earning athletes in the world
Russell Westbrook (via CBS)

Westbrook is currently on a two-year contract worth $7,863,263 With the Clippers, which he signed earlier last year in July. The rest of the sum comes from his many lucrative endorsement and partnership deals that he has signed over the years.

Samsung, PepsiCo, True Religion, Six Star Nutrition, the Jordan brand, Kings and Jacks. Hennessy are some of Mr. Triple Double’s high-profile endorsements. It is worth noting that his current contract includes a player option for the coming NBA season and could possibly add to Westbrook’s overall net worth.

24. Anthony Joshua

British professional boxer Anthony Joshua is the next name on our list of highest paid athletes. The boxer is currently making $55 million per annum with an estimated $13 million coming from his brand collaborations.

Over the years, Joshua has signed with a handful of big brands, including Under Armour, Beats Electronics, Hugo Boss, and Jaguar Land Rover, among others.

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Anthony Joshua one of the highest earning athletes in the world
Anthony Joshua (via RingSide)

The rest of his yearly earnings, which amount to about $42 million, originate from his professional contracts and fight revenues.

23. Mohamed Salah

Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah is also one of the highest paid athletes in the world. Since signing his new contract with Liverpool FC, Salah’s yearly income has skyrocketed.

The ‘Egyptian King’ currently makes about $36 million from his professional salary while receiving an additional $20 million from his brand endorsements and sponsorship deals.

Mohamed Salah one of the highest earning athletes in the world
Mohamed Salah (via Egyptian Streets)

He has signed with sporting apparel giant Adidas and features his signature football boots labeled Egyptian Knights on the pitch. He also has a few other sponsorship deals including the one with Vodafone, which add significantly to Mohammad Salah’s overall net worth.

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22. Klay Thompson

The Golden State Warriors superstar Klay Thompson is in the final year of his lucrative $189 million contract. Currently, the Dubs forward makes about $43 million from his NBA salary.

Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson (via FS)

In total, he earns $60.1 million yearly, and the rest of the original sum comes from his numerous endorsement deals. Thompson has partnered with Gillette, Buffalo Wild Wings, Panini Body Armor, and Fanatix which add significantly to Klay Thompson’s overall net worth.

The NBA star also has endorsement deals with Electronic Arts, Tissot, Hugo Boss, and ANTA as of now.

21. Damian Lillard

NBA star Damian Lillard is the next name on the list. Now playing for the Milwaukee Bucks, Lillard is one of the highest paid athletes on his team.

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He is currently on a four-year/$176 million contract, originally signed with the Portland Trail Blazers in July 2019. The PG is making $60.3 million annually and the rest of his income comes from sponsorship and business investments.

Damian Lillard one of the highest earning athletes in the world
Damian Lillard (via Milwaukee Bucks)

So far, Damian Lillard has signed with Adidas, Gatorade, Panini, and Hulu, which are some of the biggest names in their respective fields. He also has endorsement deals with Spalding, JBL, Oakley, Bio Freeze, Modelo, Nuna, Nordstroms, OpenSea, GrowYourWays, Tissot USA, and more.

20. Max Scherzer

MLB professional Max Scherzer is one of the highest paid athletes in the world. He makes an impressive $60.8 million annually from his MLB contracts and brand endorsements.

Max Scherzer one of the highest earning athletes in the world
Max Scherzer (via AP)

He is currently playing pitcher for the Texas Rangers and makes about $58.8 million from his player contract. The rest of the sum comes from endorsement deals with top brands.

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19. Lewis Hamilton

F1 icon Lewis Hamilton is one of the biggest names in the sports industry. He currently makes $62 million annually, which includes $50 million from his terms with Mercedes and an additional $12 million from brand endorsements.

Lewis Hamilton one of the highest earning athletes in the world
Lewis Hamilton (via FromTheBend)

A seven-time world champion, Hamilton has secured sponsorship deals with a wide range of top brands including Monster Energy, Gran Turismo Sport, Bell Helmets, Bose, Petronas, IWC, and Sony among others. All of these add up significantly to Hamilton’s overall net worth.

18. Erling Haaland

Manchester City superstar Erling Haaland is making waves in the EPL. His sensational performances in front of the goal have made him one of the highest paid players in his sport.

Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland (via Manchester City)

Haaland currently makes $63 million annually from his salary and brand endorsements. He makes about $45 million from his contract with Man City and the rest of the $18 million comes from his high-profile endorsement deals with renowned outlets, eventually adding to Erling Haaland’s overall net worth.

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17. Canelo Alvarez

Mexican professional boxer Canelo Alvarez is one of the highest paid players in his sport. The 33-year-old is now making a staggering $66 million annually.

Canelo Alvarez one of the highest earning athletes in the world
Canelo Alvarez (via Twitter)

Alvarez earns a substantial portion of his income from his professional contracts which amount to about $60 million. He also makes an estimated $6 million from brand collabs and endorsement deals.

16. Shohei Ohtani

Japanese pitcher Shohei Ohtani is one of the highest paid players in the MLB. He is currently making a mind-blowing $70 million from his player contracts and brand endorsement deals.

Shohei Ohtani
Shohei Ohtani (via Daily Mail)

In fact, he makes more from his sponsorship and partnership deals than he does from his current contract. Ohtani is making an estimated $30 million from his current MLB salary, while the rest of the $40 million of his total annual income comes from endorsement deals with top brands.

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15. Max Verstappen

Red Bull Racing’s megastar Max Verstappen has taken the F1 circuit by storm since he entered the grid. Verstappen is making a fantastic $75 million annually right now.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen (via Red Bull Racing)

He has several brand endorsements with top brands, amounting to about $5 million, which adds significantly to Max Verstappen’s overall net worth. On the other hand, his current contract with Red Bull and the additional bonuses amount to an estimated $70 million annually.

14. Tiger Woods

Legendary golfer Tiger Woods is still going strong at 48. Woods remains one of the highest paid athletes in the world right now and is making $77.2 million annually.

 Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods (via Reuters)

He earns $12.2 million from his contracts while the rest of the $65 million of Wood’s financial portfolio comes from big money endorsements with top brands.

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13. Rory Mcllroy

Irish golfer Rory Mcllroy is also one of the highest paid professionals in his sport. His total annual income is estimated to be pretty similar to that of Tiger Woods.

Rory Mcllroy one of the highest earning athletes in the world
Rory Mcllroy (via NY Times)

Mcllroy currently earns $77.4 million annually, out of which $40 million are from brand endorsements and sponsorship deals. His endorsement portfolio includes renowned outlets like Omega, Optum, Golf Pass and Workday.

12. Karim Benzema

2022 Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema is making big money in the Saudi Pro League. Despite the existing friction between the player and his club, the French national is making a mind-boggling $78 million annually.

Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema (via BFrames)

His current salary at Al-Ittihad is estimated to be about $70 million. He also earns an additional $8 million from brand endorsements which contribute significantly to Karim Benzema’s overall net worth.

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11. Lamar Jackson

The Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is one of the highest paid players in the NFL. The current league MVP is now earning a fantastic $82.5 million annually.

He is currently on a massive five-year contract worth $260 million with the Ravens, signed earlier last year in April. Jackson is now making an estimated $80 million from his player contracts, salaries, and bonuses.

Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson (via FS)

The rest of his annual income comes from high-profile endorsements with top brands, which eventually add to Lamar Jackson’s overall net worth.

10. Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is one of the premier superstars in the NFL. Mahomes makes a staggering $84.3 million per annum from his NFL contracts and big money endorsement deals.

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Patrick Mahomes one of the highest earning athletes in the world
Patrick Mahomes (via Imago)

Besides his annual salaries, Mahomes has invested across various business projects over the years. He is in fact a minority owner of the MLB franchise the Kansas City Royals and NWSL’s KC Current.

His numerous endorsement deals and business endorsement bring an estimated revenue of $25 million annually, while his player contracts and NFL salaries amount to $59.3 million. All of these contribute to Patrick Mahomes’ impressive net worth.

9. Kevin Durant

NBA superstar Kevin Durant is now playing for the Phoenix Suns. Durant is also one of the highest earning athletes in the world, making an estimated $86.9 million annually.

Kevin Durant one of the highest earning athletes
Kevin Durant (via NBA)

His current contract with the Suns amounts to about $44.9 million of the total sum, while the rest of his income comes from big money endorsements with top brands including Nike, amounting to about $42 million annually.

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To date, he has signed with Panini, 2K Sports, Coinbase, Gatorade, and Sprint. These partnership and endorsement deals add up to Kevin Durant’s overall net worth.

8. Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the best players in the NBA. He makes a staggering $88.4 million annually and, in fact, holds one of the biggest NBA contracts in the history of the league.

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo (via Imago)

Besides his on-court earnings, Antetokounmpo has also partnered with a handful of renowned outlets. He receives an estimated revenue of about $45 million per annum from his multiple brand endorsements and partnership deals.

7. Stephen Curry

NBA icon Stephen Curry has long made his place into the list of highest earning athletes in the world. Curry makes a mind-blowing $98.9 million annually, pretty close to the 100 million-mark.

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His lifetime partnership deal with Under Armour and collaborations with other top brands bring revenues that are estimated to be around $50 million.

Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry (via Imago)

His current NBA earnings from his contract with the Golden State Warriors amount to about $48.9 million, all of which add to Curry’s impressive net worth.

6. Neymar Jr.

One of the most technically gifted football players ever, Neymar Jr. has seemingly ended his professional career in Europe. He is now playing for Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Hilal in the Saudi Pro League.

Neymar Jr.
Neymar Jr. (via Instagram)

Needless to say, the Brazilian is making some really big money in the Middle East. Neymar Jr. currently earns $121 million annually, including his $86 million from salary and contracts, while the remaining $35 million come from his brand endorsements.

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5. Kylian Mbappé

PSG superstar Kylian Mbappé is in the final year of his massive contract with the French outfit. He is now making $125 million annually and is one of the top five highest paid athletes in the world.

Kylian Mbappé
Kylian Mbappé (via GOAL)

Mbappé makes about $100 million from his current terms with PSG. He also earns an estimated $25 million from brand collaborations and endorsement deals that substantially add up to Mbappé’s impressive net worth.

4. LeBron James

Of course, LeBron James makes the list of the highest paid athletes in the world. King James is earning around $125.7 million annually from his LA Lakers contract and brand endorsements.

LeBron James one of the highest earning athletes in the world
LeBron James (via Imago)

LeBron’s long-term contract with Nike and his other endorsements generate revenues of about $80 million annually.

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Meanwhile, his Lakers contract sees him receive about $45.7 million in NBA salaries. LeBron is in fact the first active NBA player to have crossed the billion-dollar mark in terms of net worth.

3. Lionel Messi

Right next to LeBron James is football’s reigning GOAT Lionel Messi. The Argentine superstar has won it all in his career and is now enjoying football at Inter Miami in the MLS.

The 36-year-old is making a fantastic $130 million annually from his player contracts and brand endorsements. His current Inter Miami salary and bonuses is estimated to be about $65 million.

Lionel Messi one of the highest earning athletes in the world
Lionel Messi (Inter Miami)

At the same time, his revenues from sponsorship deals and endorsements are also around $65 million per annum. Messi was in fact the highest paid athlete in the world last year and continues to make big money in the US.

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2. Jon Rahm

Spanish professional golfer Jon Rahm is breaking records with his fantastic earnings. The 29-year-old has made a mind-boggling haul of prize money and professional earnings this year.

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm (via AP)

He is making $203 million annually, of which only $22 million comes from brand endorsements. The rest of the sum are his professional winnings and Rahmbo does not seem to be stopping anytime soon.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Al-Nassr star Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest earning athlete in the world, making about $275 million annually. Since his move to the Middle East after the termination of his contract with Manchester United, Ronaldo has added significantly to his financial portfolio.

Cristiano Ronaldo highest earning athlete
Cristiano Ronaldo (via GOAL)

The Portuguese striker now earns an estimated salary of about $215 million from the Saudi Arabian outfit. He also receives revenues amounting to almost $60 million from brand endorsements and partnership deals, which adds significantly to Cristiano Ronaldo’s overall net worth.

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FAQs

Q. Who is the highest earning NBA player?

LeBron James is the highest earning NBA player form salary, endorsements and business investments.

Q. Who is the highest earning NFL player?

Patrick Mahomes is the highest earning NFL player form salary, endorsements and business investments.

Q. Who is the highest earning soccer player?

Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest earning soccer player form salary, endorsements and business investments.

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