Top 10 Forbes Highest-Paid Athletes in 2021

Highest paid Athletes

The FORBES has released its list of the highest-paid athletes within the world for 2021, marking the very top earners within the sports industry supported their earnings derived from the prize, salaries, bonuses, and endorsements during the past 12 months.

Although the pandemic has wreaked havoc on sport with many major events being canceled or postponed, the report reveals that the ten highest-paid athletes had taken home pretax gross earnings of US$1.05 billion over the last year, which is 28 percent quite 2020’s top earners. 

This year, MMA fighter Conor McGregor tops the list with US$180 million in total earnings, edging past the 2 football legends Lionel Messi (#2) and Cristiano Ronaldo (#3) who’ve been topping the charts consistently within the past few years.

Read on to get the complete list and determine what proportion do the superstars make. 

#1. Conor McGregor

Conor Anthony McGregor (Irish: Conchúr Antóin Mac Gréagóir; born Bastille Day 1988 is an Irish mixed martial artist, boxer, and businessperson. he’s a former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight and light-weight double-champion.

As of May 17, 2021, he’s #5 within the UFC lightweight rankings.

McGregor may be a former Cage Warriors featherweight and lightweight champion. In 2015, at UFC 194, he defeated José Aldo for the UFC Featherweight Championship via knockout 13 seconds into the primary round, which is that the fastest victory in UFC title fight history.

Upon defeating Eddie Alvarez for the UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 205, McGregor became the primary fighter in UFC history to carry titles in two weight divisions simultaneously.

In his debut boxing match, he was defeated by Floyd Mayweather Jr. He’s the most important pay-per-view (PPV) attract MMA history, having headlined five out of the six highest-selling UFC pay-per-view events.

His headline bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 drew 2.4 million PPV buys, the foremost ever for an MMA event.

His match with Mayweather drew 4.3 million PPV buys in North America, the second-most in history.

 McGregor was ranked because the world’s highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2021, earning a reported $180 million. He also featured within the list in 2018, when he was ranked fourth, with a reported income of $99 million.

Nationality: Ireland
Age: 32
Sport: MMA 
Earning ratio: US$22 million (on the field); US$158 million (off the field) 

Total: US$180 million 

#2. Lionel Messi

Lionel Andrés Messi also referred to as Leo Messi, (born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward and captains both La Liga club Barcelona and therefore the Argentina national team. 

Often considered because the best player within the world and widely considered one of the best players of all time, Messi has won a record six Ballon d’Or awards,

a record six European Golden Shoes, and in 2020 was named to the Ballon d’Or Dream Team. 

He has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, where he has won a club-record 34 trophies, including ten La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey titles, and 4 UEFA Champions Leagues. 

A prolific goalscorer and artistic playmaker, Messi holds the records for many goals in La Liga (474), a La Liga and European league season (50), most hat-tricks in La Liga (36) and therefore the UEFA Champions League (8), and most assists in La Liga (192), a La Liga and European league season (21) and therefore the Copa América. He has scored over 750 senior career goals for club and country and has the foremost goals ever by a player for one club.

Born and raised in central Argentina, Messi relocated to Spain to hitch Barcelona at age 13, for whom he made his competitive debut aged 17 in October 2004. 

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He established himself as an integral player for the club within the subsequent three years, and in his first uninterrupted season in 2008–09 he helped Barcelona achieve the primary treble in Spanish football; that year, aged 22, Messi won his first Ballon d’Or. 

Three successful seasons followed, with Messi winning four consecutive Ballon d’Or, making him the primary player to win the award fourfold and during a row.

During the 2011–12 season, he set the La Liga and European records for many goals scored during a single season, while establishing himself as Barcelona’s all-time top scorer.

The subsequent two seasons, Messi finished second for the Ballon d’Or behind Cristiano Ronaldo (his perceived career rival), before regaining his best form during the 2014–15 campaign, becoming the all-time top scorer in La Liga and leading Barcelona to a historic second treble, after which he was awarded a fifth Ballon d’Or in 2015. 

Messi assumed the captaincy of Barcelona in 2018, and in 2019 he secured a record sixth Ballon d’Or. An Argentine international, Messi is his country’s all-time leading goalscorer.

 At the youth level, he won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, finishing the tournament with both the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe, and an Olympic trophy at the 2008 Summer Olympics. 

His sort of play as a diminutive, left-footed dribbler drew comparisons together with his compatriot Diego Maradona, who described Messi as his successor.

After his senior debut in August 2005, Messi became the youngest Argentine to play and score during a FIFA World Cup during the 2006 edition and reached the ultimate of the 2007 Copa América, where he was named young player of the tournament. 

As the squad’s captain from August 2011, he led Argentina to 3 consecutive finals: the 2014 FIFA World Cup, that he won the Golden Ball, and therefore the 2015 and 2016 Copa América.

After announcing his international retirement in 2016, he reversed his decision and led his country to qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and a finish at the 2019 Copa América. 

The same year he also helped the team to capture the 2019 Superclásico de las Américas versus Brazil after scoring the winning goal.

One of the foremost famous athletes within the world, Messi has been sponsored by sportswear company Adidas since 2006 and has established himself as their leading brand endorser.

 consistent with France Football, he was the world’s highest-paid footballer for five years out of six between 2009 and 2014 and was ranked the world’s highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2019. 

Messi was among Time’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2011 and 2012.

In February 2020, he was awarded the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, thus becoming the primary footballer and also the primary sport athlete to win the award.

Later that year, Messi became the second footballer (and second team-sport athlete) to surpass $1 billion in career earnings.

Nationality: Argentina
Age: 33
Sport: Soccer 
Earning ratio: US$97 million (on the field); US$33 million (off the field) 
Total: US$130 million 

#3. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro GOIH (born 5 February 1985) may be a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Serie A club Juventus and captains the Portugal national team. 

Often considered the simplest player within the world and widely considered one of the best players of all time, Ronaldo has won five Ballon d’Or awards and 4 European Golden Shoes, both of which are records for an EU player. 

He has won 32 major trophies in his career, including seven league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA European Championship, and one UEFA Nations League title. 

Ronaldo holds the records for the foremost goals (134) and assists (42) within the history of the UEFA Champions League.

He’s one among the few recorded players to possess remodeled 1,100 professional career appearances and has scored over 770 official senior career goals for club and country.

He is also the second male to attain 100 international goals and therefore the first European one to realize the feat.

Nationality: Portugal
Age: 36
Sport: Soccer 
Earning ratio: US$70 million (on the field); US$50 million (off the field)
Total: US$120 million 

#4. Dak Prescott

Nationality: us 

Age: 27

Sport: Football (NFL)

Earning ratio: US$97.5 million (on the field); US$10 million (off the field) 

Total: US$107.5 million 

#5. Lebron James

Nationality: us 

Age: 36

Sport: Basketball

Earning ratio: US$31.5 million (on the field); US$65 million (off the field) 

Total: US$96.5 million 

#6. Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior

Nationality: Brazil

Age: 29

Sport: Soccer

Earning ratio: US$76 million (on the field); US$19 million (off the field) 

Total: US$95 million 

#7. Roger Federer

Nationality: Switzerland 

Age: 39

Sport: Tennis

Earning ratio: US$30,000 (on the field); US$90 million (off the field) 

Total: US$90 million

#8. Lewis Hamilton

Nationality: uk 

Age: 36

Sport: Formula 1

Earning ratio: US$70 million (on the field); US$12 million (off the field) 

Total: US$82 million 

#9. Tom Brady

Nationality: us 

Age: 43

Sport: Football (NFL)

Earning ratio: US$45 million (on the field); US$31 million (off the field)

Total: US$76 million 

#10. Kevin Durant

Nationality: us 

Age: 32

Sport: Basketball

Earning ratio: US$31 million (on the field); US$44 million (off the field)

Total: US$75 million 

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