What do Top Sports Players Earn?

Well, the scores are in and it’s no surprise that the top-paid sports players in the world are those at the height of their game...literally. But who are they? What sport do they play? And, more to the point, what are they earning? We’ve scoured Forbes’ Top 100 list of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes to find the answers for you and we’ve even summarised them here (you can thank us later).

Top Sports Player Earnings Infographic

Okay, so let’s start with the bad news (brace yourselves), even the highest paid professional paintball players unfortunately didn’t make the Top 100. In fact, the best paintball players in the world can only expect to earn about £80,000 per year which, don’t get us wrong, sounds like an epic wedge to play paintball but, compared to the lowest Top 100 earner on £15.6m, it goes to show the incredible earning potential of the elite sports stars.

Predictably, footballing legend Cristiano Ronaldo ranks Number 1 as not only the top paid football player, but the top paid sports superstar worldwide. Combining his salary and endorsements, his earnings comes in at a whopping £66m – safe to say the next round is on Ronaldo…

The sport that dominates these rankings is, in fact, baseball, with players featuring a total of 26 times. A massive 96% of their earnings come from their salary and winnings, in contrast with basketball players, who receive most of their earnings from endorsements, which make up 92% of their earnings!

Age is simply just a number when it comes to sports players’ earnings – the youngest person on the list is 23-year-old golf pro Jordan Speith, bringing in a staggering £40m per year. This matches the earnings of 46-year-old golfing legend Phil Mickelson.

Let’s not forget to mention the women that made the rankings – unfortunately there were only two! But they acquitted themselves pretty well, earning £38m between them; no surprises that these two legendary tennis rivals are Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova (who is famous for more than just her Top 100 Forbes mention, but that’s another story).

So there we have it, this year’s highest paid sporting professionals. We’ve combined all of this information into a handy infographic, so take a look for a further breakdown of the uber-wealthy Top 100 paid sports players.

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