Forbes has released its list of the top-100 highest-paid athletes and there’s a new No. 1.
Tennis legend Roger Federer has jumped both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to take the top spot thanks to $100 million in endorsement deals from Uniqlo, Credit Suisse, Mercedes-Benz and 10 other partners. Federer earned an additional $6.3 million in tournament winnings over the last year.
Ronaldo ($105 million), Messi ($104 million), Neymar ($95.5 million) and LeBron James ($88.2 million) rounded out the top five.
Forbes collected earnings data from June 1, 2019 to June 1, 2020. The 100 highest-paid athletes earned a combined $3.6 billion last year which, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was a nine per cent decline from the previous year.
The NBA led the way with 35 players on the list. This included three players with Toronto Raptors connections: Kawhi Leonard (No. 43, $30.5 million), Kyle Lowry (No. 50, $28.5 million) and DeMar DeRozan (No. 76, $24.8 million).
The NFL had the second-most players on the list with 31, a jump from 19 the year before. Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (No. 9, $60.5 million) and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (No. 10, $59.1 million) were the highest-paid NFL players on the list.
World soccer (14 athletes), tennis (six), boxing/MMA (five), golf (four), auto racing (three), baseball (one) and cricket (one) were also represented on the list. In 2019, MLB had 19 players on the list but due to the COVID-19 pandemic Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (No. 57, $27.3 million) was the only baseball player to crack the top 100 this time.
Naomi Osaka (No. 29, $37.4 million) and Serena Williams (No. 33, $36 million) were the only women ranked in the top 100. It’s the first time since 2016 that two women are among the top 100