American magazine Forbes recently released their ranking of the highest-earning athletes ever to compliment the yearly list of the highest-paid athletes of that year.
It’s a remarkable list that mostly contains boxers and golfers.
Forbes explained their methodology here:
“Our earnings estimates cover salaries, bonuses, prize money, endorsements and licensing, as well as fees from books, golf course design and appearances through the end of May 2016. We do not include investment income or deduct for taxes or agents’ fees. We adjusted all figures for inflation to 2016 dollars.”
The list is here, and some of these figures are eye watering (and all of them are in US dollars:
20. MANNY PACQUIAO (Boxing) — $490 MILLION
The Pacman has earned more than $20 mil from each of his last 10 fights.
19. OSCAR DE LA HOYA (Boxing) — $510 MILLION
De La Hoya once earnt $52 million for a LOSS.
18. JEFF GORDON (NASCAR) — $515 MILLION
Not sure many Aussies will have heard of him, but he’s huge in America.
17. LIONEL MESSI (Soccer) — $520 MILLION
Messi made more than $53 mil just this year.
16. ALEX RODRIGUEZ (Baseball) — $600 MILLION
A-Rod’s last contract was worth $275 million.
15. ROGER FEDERER (Tennis) — $600 MILLION
Federer’s arguably a spent force on the court, but he still raked in $60 mil this year.
14. CRISTIANO RONALDO (Soccer) — $620 MILLION
The Balon d’Or winner was the world’s highest paid athlete this year.
13. LEBRON JAMES (Basketball) — $640 MILLION
Not bad for a bloke who’s about to turn 32.
12. GREG NORMAN (Golf) — $680 MILLION
This equates to more than $930 in Australian Dollars. Insane.
11. MIKE TYSON (Boxing) — $685 MILLION
Iron Mike lost the lot though, at one stage having to file for bankruptcy.
10. SHAQUILLE O’NEAL (Basketball) — $700 MILLION
Shaq is a money earning machine.
9. DAVID BECKHAM (Soccer) — $730 MILLION
Brand Beckham is still going strong.
8. PHIL MICKELSON (Golf) — $760 MILLION
Mickelson’s made over $80 mil in prize money alone.
7. FLOYD MAYWEATHER (Boxing) — $765 MILLION
Money Mayweather is an unsurprising entry on this list.
6. KOBE BRYANT (Basketball) — $770 MILLION
Kobe made more than $300 mil in salary alone.
5. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER (F1) — $1 BILLION
The first billionaire on this list, Schumacher made more than $30 mil a year for some time.
4. JACK NICKLAUS (Golf) — $1.15 BILLION
Golfers apparently make loads of money.
3. ARNOLD PALMER (Golf) — $1.35 BILLION
Palmer only made $2.1 mil in prize money, but his endorsement is worth billions, apparently.
2. TIGER WOODS (Golf) — $1.65 BILLION
Would surely be number one had he not fallen apart mid-career.
1. MICHAEL JORDAN (Basketball) — $1.7 BILLION
His Royal Airness STILL earns more annually than every single active NBA player.