New Number One As Forbes Publish Highest-Paid Athletes List 2018

Joann Johnston
June 7, 2018

Three football stars rank among the top 10 earning athletes in the world according to Forbes' lastest rich list.

Forbes' list is based on known earnings such as prize money, salaries and bonuses earned between 1 June 2017 and 1 June 2018, plus endorsement estimates including sponsorship deals and appearance fees, based on "conversations with dozens of industry insiders". McGregor ($99m) sits fourth in the list, with footballers Lionel Messi ($111m) and Cristiano Ronaldo ($108m) second and third.

Conor McGregor also benefitted from the historic fight last August, as the Irish MMA athlete jumped to fourth spot with a reported $99 million earnings of which $85 million came in winnings/salary. The 29-year-old batting sensation earned $24 million over the last 12 months; $4 million through salary and winnings, and $20 million through brand endorsements.

Mayweather stood firmly atop the list having earned $285 million dollars, most likely all related to the bout with McGregor.

Argentina star Messi narrowly surpassed Ronaldo after signing a new contract at Barcelona, but the Portuguese, Mayweather and golfer Tiger Woods, this year ranked 16th, remained the only three to top the best-paid list during the past 18 years.

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Unsurprisingly, the National Basketball Association dominates the list, with 40 players, 19 of whom are in the top 50 as opposed to the NFL's nine. He ranks second overall with Dollars 111 million, including USD 27 million through endorsement deals with Adidas, Gatorade, Pepsi and Huawei.

NBA icon LeBron James was the highest-paid basketball player to feature on the list, coming in at sixth with total earnings of $112 million, just ahead of men's tennis king Roger Federer, who earned $102 million. The top 100 earned United States dollars 3.8 billion, a 23 per cent jump over a year ago.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is the highest earning National Football League player, coming in at ninth with $88 million.

NBA stars lead with a record-topping 40 basketball players among the top 100.

There are no female athletes on the list.

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