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HomeSportsHere's The Top Ten Highest Paid Athletes in 2024

Here’s The Top Ten Highest Paid Athletes in 2024

Image Credit: Forbes

Days after LIV Golf held its first-ever event in London in June 2022, Jon Rahm spoke to the media at the U.S. Open and was asked about the new Saudi-backed tour. He acknowledged that some players and fans would find LIV appealing, but he told reporters the format wasn’t for him. Rahm went on to say that he wouldn’t be persuaded to quit the PGA Tour by the enormous sums LIV was paying players, despite the fact that money has been a major motivator for many defectors.

“If I win $400 million, will our way of life change? No, not in the slightest, the 29-year-old Spaniard replied. “To be honest, with the money I’ve earned, I could retire right now, lead a great life, and never play golf again.I haven’t actually played golf for financial gain before. I want to compete against the greatest players in the world because I play for the love of the game. I’ve always been drawn to heritage and history, and the PGA Tour currently possesses both.

What a difference two years can make! In December, Rahm appeared on Fox News wearing a LIV-branded letterman jacket, confirming his departure from the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf. This move came with a massive payday, reportedly the largest in LIV’s history, with Rahm receiving a guaranteed $350 million, half of which he received upfront, estimated by Forbes. This enormous sum catapulted Rahm up the rankings of the world’s 50 highest-paid athletes, from 28th in 2023 to second place this year. According to Forbes, the two-time Major winner earned an estimated $218 million over the past 12 months, the highest total ever recorded by a golfer, and second only to Cristiano Ronaldo, who earned $260 million.

1.Cristiano Ronaldo $260M

image credit: Wikipedia

Cristiano Ronaldo’s estimated total earnings of $260 million, a record high for a soccer player, have secured his position as the world’s highest-paid athlete for the fourth time in his career. This is largely due to his massive $200 million annual salary with Al Nassr, which appears to be a worthwhile investment for the Saudi Pro League club. The 39-year-old forward has dominated the league, leading with 33 goals scored and earning Player of the Month honors in August, September, December, and March. Additionally, he remains incredibly valuable to sponsors, frequently promoting his partners – including crypto exchange Binance and fitness app Erakulis – to his vast Instagram following of 629 million, as well as maintaining deals with Nike, Herbalife, Clear Haircare, and most recently, Whoop. Furthermore, Ronaldo is set to receive a $10.5 million payment from his former club, Juventus, after an arbitrator ruled that the Serie A team still owed him outstanding wages from a Covid-19 pandemic pay cut.

2.Jon Rahm $218M

Image Credit : Forbes

Rahm made a very profitable decision to join LIV Golf in December of last year, even before considering the rumoured $350 million guarantee he was given to join the Saudi-sponsored tour. Despite not having won a LIV event, the Spaniard has already made $6.6 million from seven competitions in 2024, good for sixth place on the PGA Tour’s official money list as of May 13. Rahm was also chosen to lead Legion XIII, LIV’s 13th team, which has historically carried with it a 25% ownership stake in the league’s teams.

3. lionel Messi $135M

Image Credit: Forbes

Messi’s debut in Miami has been nothing short of revolutionary for his new team, Inter Miami, which has increased ticket sales, organised an innovative international preseason tour, and gained a number of rich sponsorships, such as the most lucrative jersey deal in Major League Baseball history with Royal Caribbean. With a $1.03 billion valuation according to Forbes, Inter Miami is currently the second-most valuable team in Major League Soccer. The team anticipates growing its revenue from $118 million in 2023 to more than $200 million this year. Messi, meanwhile, has been living up to expectations. The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner became the first player in Major League Soccer history to produce five assists in a single game after scoring 10 goals in his first nine games of the current campaign. Outside of the pitch, Messi saidLowe’s to a consortium of sponsors that comprises Konami, Apple, and Adidas. Additionally, he is apparently collaborating with White Claw Hard Seltzer’s manufacturer to introduce his own sports drink this summer.

4.LeBron James $128.2M

Image Credit: Forbes

Following yet another heartbreaking playoff elimination, James’ future with the Los Angeles Lakers is a matter of much conjecture. The four-time MVP has a $51.4 million player option with the franchise, but he has stated that he would want to play with his oldest son, Bronny, who is still eligible to attend college but has declared for the NBA Draft. While Team USA attempts to capture gold in Paris this summer, James will compete in what is probably his final Olympics. As he mulls life beyond the NBA, James also launched a relationship with DraftKings in January and joined a long list of celebrities who have invested in PGA Tour Enterprises, the new business venture for the golf industry.

5.Giannis Antetokounmpo $111M

image credit: wikipedia

After a calf injury cut short his tumultuous season with the Milwaukee Bucks, which included a midseason coaching change and a disappointing first-round playoff exit, Giannis Antetokounmpo is now on the road to recovery. Despite the setbacks on the court, his off-court success continues to soar. In January, he founded a production company, and in February, he partnered with Pepsi’s Starry soft drink. Additionally, his sixth signature sneaker with Nike is set to be released later this year, further solidifying his growing influence and fame.

6.Kylian Mbappé $110M

Image Credit: Forbes

The $1.3 billion super-team experiment at Paris Saint-Germain will come to an end with Mbappé’s upcoming departure, as the 25-year-old French sensation is anticipated to follow his childhood goal of playing for Real Madrid in Spain the following season. When Mbappé was a member of PSG, the team won six out of seven Ligue 1 titles, but they were unable to win a Champions League. He stays quite busy outside of football, win or lose. In 2022, Mbappé established a production firm and worked with the NBA. The company has agreements with other brands, including Hublot, Oakley, and Nike.

7. Neymar $108M

Image Credit: Neymar Jr

Neymar reportedly received an all-inclusive salary deal last year, along with access to a private plane, a fleet of high-end vehicles, and a fully staffed house, in exchange for signing with Saudi Arabian soccer team Al Hilal. However, his term did not start off well. The Brazilian player suffered an ACL tear in October while participating in a World Cup qualification match; as a result, he only played five matches for his club in the Saudi Pro League and AFC Champions League. Neymar has continued to negotiate new endorsement contracts in spite of this. Since the injury, he has expanded his brand to include Skims, collaborated with Fun Brands to create his own line of mocktails and beverages, and debuted a new football boot with Puma.

8.Karim Benzema $106M

Image Credit: Forbes

The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner Benzema joined Al Ittihad of the Saudi Pro League after leaving Real Madrid as a free agent in the previous year. “As a Muslim, you feel at peace when you are in Mecca,” he revealed in a recent interview, providing a very intimate glimpse into the reasons behind his decision. Due to health problems that he had during his first season with Al Ittihad, he has returned to Real Madrid’s clinic in Spain, where he is being treated by his previous physician, as reported by ESPN.

9.Stephen Curry $102M

Image Credit: Forbes

With 357 three-pointers this season, Curry led the NBA and earned a spot on Team USA’s Olympic squad this summer, demonstrating his sustained skill at the sport. Aside from the court, he has been a force to be reckoned with. stretch year, he inked a new contract with Under Armour that will stretch long beyond retirement and include $75 million in shares that will vest in equal payments between 2029 and 2034. With the addition of South Carolina player MiLaysia Fulwiley in November and point guard De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings in October, The Curry Brand has now grown beyond its namesake star. Curry is also taking a chance in front of the camera. Peacock has ordered Curry’s forthcoming mockumentary straight to series.

10.Lamar Jackson $100.5M

Image Credit: Forbes

Lamar Jackson’s $72.5 million signing bonus from his new Baltimore Ravens contract, which he negotiated as his own agent, helped him land in the top 10. After leading the Ravens to a 13-4 record and an AFC Central division championship, the 27-year-old quarterback celebrated by winning his second NFL MVP award. Jackson collaborates with Oakley and StatusPro, the creators of the NFL Pro Era virtual reality game, off the pitch. In addition, he owns a number of companies, including as a production firm, a record label, a soul food restaurant, and an apparel brand called Era 8.

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