Cristiano Ronaldo named ‘highest-paid athlete in the world’ by Forbes

The whole top 10 earned $1.38 billion collectively

Cristiano Ronaldo has once again topped the Forbes list of highest-paid athletes for the fourth time in his career, with golfer Jon Rahm making a significant leap to second place.

Ronaldo, who also led the list last year following his high-profile move to Saudi Arabian football club Al Nassr, earned a staggering $260 million over the past 12 months, a significant increase from the $136 million he earned the previous year, according to Forbes.

The 39-year-old Portugal forward’s earnings outpace those of his long-time rival, Lionel Messi, who has dropped to third place on the list. Messi’s earnings totaled $135 million.

Jon Rahm, the Spanish golfer, climbed to second place, boosted by his switch to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf tour, which reportedly earned him $218 million.

Footballers Neymar and Karim Benzema have also secured spots in the top 10 after their moves to the Saudi Pro League. The list features other prominent athletes, including basketball stars LeBron James in fourth place, Giannis Antetokounmpo in fifth, and Stephen Curry in ninth. American football quarterback Lamar Jackson rounds out the top 10.

Forbes reports that the world’s 10 highest-paid athletes collectively earned $1.38 billion before taxes and agents’ fees over the past year, marking the highest total ever recorded.

World’s Top 10 Highest Paid Athletes 2024

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo, football: $260m
  2. Jon Rahm, golf: $218m
  3. Lionel Messi, football: $135m
  4. LeBron James, basketball: $128.2m
  5. Giannis Antetokounmpo, basketball: $111m
  6. Kylian Mbappe, football: $110m
  7. Neymar, football: $108m
  8. Karim Benzema, football: $106m
  9. Stephen Curry, basketball: $102m
  10. Lamar Jackson, American football: $100.5m

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