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The World's Highest Paid Athletes List 2016

Below is the top 10 of the highest earning sports people for 2016, taken from the annual list “The World's 100 Highest-Paid Athletes” published by Forbes magazine in June 2016.

The top earner for this year is Real Madrid and Portugal footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, up from third last year. His earnings have increased from 79.6 to 88 million USD. This is the first year since 2001 someone besides Mayweather or Tiger Woods ranked first.

Tiger Woods' slide on the top earners list continued, dropping out of the top 10 this year, along with last year's top two Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Without a big money fight renenue, the boxers have dropped to No. 16 (Mayweather) and No. 63 (Pacquiao).

The earnings totals (in US dollars) are derived from salaries, bonuses, prize money, appearance fees, licensing and endorsement income in the 12 months from May 1, 2015 to May 1, 2016. Taxes or agents' fees are not factored into the figures. See also the Forbes top earning lists from other years.

Top-10 Highest Earning Sports people from 2016

Rank Name Sport Nationality earning ($ million) previous year
1 Cristiano Ronaldo Soccer Portugal 88.0 3
2 Lionel Messi Soccer Argentina 81.4 4
3 LeBron James Basketball USA 77.2 6
4 Roger Federer Tennis Switzerland 67.8 5
5 Kevin Durant Basketball USA 56.2 7
6 Novak Djokovic Tennis Serbia 55.8 13
7 Cam Newton American Football USA 53.1 >20
8 Phil Mickelson Golf USA 52.9 8
9 Jordan Spieth Golf USA 52.8 >20
10 Kobe Bryant Basketball USA 50.0 10

Next on the list were: Lewis Hamilton, Tiger Woods, Eli manning, Joe Flacco, Tom Brady, Floyd Mayweather, Rory McIlroy, Russell Wilson, Sebastian Vettel, Philip Rivers.

Highest Ranked For Each Sport in 2016

The highest ranked from each sport is listed below.

Sport Overall Rank Name earning ($ million)
Soccer 1 Cristiano Ronaldo 88.0
Basketball 3 LeBron James 77.2
Tennis 4 Roger Federer 67.8
American Football 7 Cam Newton 53.1
Golf 8 Phil Mickelson 52.9
Auto Racing 11 Lewis Hamilton 46.0
Boxing 16 Floyd Mayweather 44.0
Track and Field 32 Usain Bolt 32.5
Baseball 33 Clayton Kershaw 32.0
MMA 85 Conner McGregor 22.0

sports not on top 100 list: cricket ...

source: from “The World's 100 Highest-Paid Athletes” published by Forbes magazine in May 2016.

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Lists Extra

Football/Soccer is clearly the world's most popular sport, and has the most popular athletes, but which sport has the fittest players (but not necessarily the greatest athlete). These players do not always earn the most. The best of the best have made it to our 7 Sporting Wonders Lists.

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