Sports like football, soccer and tennis entertain people all over the world. Athletes involved in these sports are immensely popular. Some of them are global icons. They make plenty of money not only through match fees but also through endorsements and other sources.
Here is a brief overview of the Top 20 Highest Paid Athletes as of 2014. This list was compiled by Forbes.
1) Floyd Mayweather Jr. ($105 million)
Floyd Mayweather is an American professional boxer. This five-division world champion has won ten world titles and is currently undefeated as a professional. He was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on February 24, 1977 into a family of boxers. With a net worth of $280 million, Floyd is a big spender when it comes to luxury cars.
2) Cristiano Ronaldo ($80 million)
This immensely popular Portuguese football player is the captain of the Portugal national team. He also plays as a forward for Spanish club Real Madrid. Some football experts are of the opinion that he is the currently the best football player in the world.
3) LeBron James ($72.3 million)
This American professional basketball player plays for the Miami Heat team of the NBA. He has made plenty of money through various endorsement deals. He has been ranked one of America’s most influential and popular athletes.
4) Lionel Messi ($64.7 million)
This adorable Argentine football player has fans all over the world. He is the captain of the Argentina national team and also plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona. This immensely talented player had received Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations by the age of 21.
5) Kobe Bryant ($61.5 million)
This American professional basketball player plays for the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. He has won five NBA championships for his team. He is a 15-time member of the All-NBA team and 16-time All-Star.
6) Tiger Woods ($61.2 million)
This formerly world # 1 American professional golfer won the 1997 Masters in a record-breaking performance. In fact he has broken a number of golf records. He has been awarded PGA Player of the year eleven times. This is also a record.
7) Roger Federer ($56.2 million)
This Swiss professional tennis player is regarded by many players, pundits and commentators as the greatest tennis player of all time. He holds many men’s world records of the Open Era. He was the world # 1 for a total of 302 weeks.
8) Phil Mickelson ($53.2 million)
This talented American professional golfer has won 42 events on the PGA Tour. These include three Masters Titles, one PGA Championship and one Open Championship. Born in San Diego, California on June 16 1970, this golfer is nicknamed “Lefty” for his left-handed swing.
9) Rafael Nadal ($44.5 million)
This Spanish professional tennis player is currently world # 1. He deserves the title “The King of Clay”. Many experts regard him as the greatest clay court player of all time. He has won 14 Grand Slam singles titles and 2008 singles Olympic gold medal. He is the second male player to complete the singles Career Golden Slam, first being Andre Agassi.
10) Matt Ryan ($43.8 million)
This American football quarterback plays for the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL. He comes from an Irish Catholic family. He is also an avid golfer.
11) Manny Pacquiao ($41.8 million)
This Filipino professional boxer and politician is the first and only eight-division world champion, in which he has won 10 titles. He is also the first to win the lineal championship in four different weight classes. He was named “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000s by Boxing Writers Association of America.
12) Zlatan Ibrahimovic ($40.4 million)
This Swedish professional football player is the captain of the Swedish national football team. He also plays as a striker for French club Paris Saint-Germain. Born in Malmo, Sweden on October 3 1981, this athlete is one of the best finishers of all time.
13) Derrick Rose ($36.6 million)
This American professional basketball player plays for the Chicago Bulls of the NBA. Born in Chicago, Illinois on October 4 1988, this athlete learnt the game from his three elder brothers.
14) Gareth Bale ($36.4 million)
This Welsh football player plays for Welsh national team and La Liga club Real Madrid as a winger. Born in Cardiff, Wales on July 16 1989, this athlete is well-known for his great crossing ability and tremendous speed.
15) Radamel Falcao ($35.4 million)
This Columbian football player is a striker. He plays for the Columbian national team and also for AS Monaco. Born in Santa Marta, Colombia on February 10 1986, this athlete is among the top strikers in the world.
16) Neymar ($33.6 million)
This Brazilian football player plays as a forward for the Brazilian national team and FC Barcelona. Born in Mogi das Cruzes, Sao Paulo on February 5 1992, this immensely talented athlete won the 2011 South American Footballer of the Year award when he was just 19 years old. Legendary Pele has called him “an excellent player.”
17) Novak Djokovic ($33.1 million)
This Serbian professional tennis player has won six grand slam singles titles. This former world #1 was at the top for a total of 101 weeks. Born in Belgrade, SFR Yugoslavia on May 22 1987, Djokovic is the first Serbian player to win multiple grand slams.
18) Matthew Stafford ($33 million)
This American football quarterback plays for the Detroit Lions of the NFL. Born in Tampa, Florida, Matthew is the fourth quarterback in the history of the league to throw over 5,000 yards in a single season.
19) Lewis Hamilton ($32 million)
This British Formula One racing driver currently races for the Mercedes AMG team. This 2008 Formula One World Champion was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire on January 7 1985.
20) Kevin Durant (31.9 million)
This American professional basketball player plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA. Kevin has won four NBA scoring titles, one NBA Most Valuable Player Award, one NBA Rookie of the Year Award and an Olympic Gold Medal.
These athletes have proved that one can make a lucrative career in the world of sports and games.