Skip To Main Content

Every product is carefully selected by our editors and experts. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission. Learn more. For more information on how we test products, click here.

Forbes Worlds Richest Athlete List 2019 1

Forbes World’s Richest Athlete List 2019

It’s not news to tell you that professional athletes are getting paid more than ever. Forbes has a list of the world’s richest athletes, but it is becoming increasingly competitive to make it onto that list. Just five years ago, an athlete only need to have a $17.3 million dollar salary to crack the list. Now that figure has risen to $25 million.

Over the course of three decades since the list has been maintained, only seven athletes have taken the top spot. Tiger Woods has topped the list the most with 12 stays at number 1. Lionel Messi became the eighth athlete to claim top rankings. Messi is the second soccer player to do so, following Cristiano Ronaldo.

Rounding out the top 100 are athletes across 10 sports and from 25 countries. More than half of those 100 either play in the NFL or in the NBA. International stars are catching up, with 38 being outside of the US market, thanks to endorsement deals. Prize money also plays a major role—especially when you have athletes like Floyd Mayweather earning an impressive $285 million. Even if you don’t make it to the top of the list, things aren’t bad. For the tenth place athlete, earnings are up 150 percent over the last 15 years. Not bad for getting paid to play a game.

Here is the Forbes list of top 10 richest athletes of 2019:

  1. Lionel Messi ($127 Million)
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo ($109 Million)
  3. Neymar ($105 Million)
  4. Canelo Alvarez ($94 Million)
  5. Roger Federer ($93.4 Million)
  6. Russel Wilson ($89.5 Million)
  7. Aaron Rodgers ($89.3 Million)
  8. LeBron James ($79.8 Million)
  9. Stephen Curry ($79.8 Million)
  10. Kevin Durant ($65.4 Million)

Check it out

You’ll also like our story: 6 Largest Athlete Endorsement Deals in the Modern Era

General FAQ

Who is the richest athlete in the world

Michael Jordan is currently the richest athlete in the world with a net worth of $2.2 billion.

Which sport is richest?

The richest sport in the world is basketball, followed by boxing and then football.