The World's Highest Paid Athletes List 2019

The top earner for 2019 is footballer (soccer player) Lionel Messi with earnings totaling 127 million USD. Messi is only the fourth athlete to rank in the No. 1 spot over the past 19 years, joining Tiger Woods (12 times), Floyd Mayweather (4) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2). Last year's number one, Floyd Mayweather, did not make the top 100 in 2019. Serena Williams was the only woman in the top 100 list for 2019, ranked 63rd.

Below is the top 10 of the highest earning sportspeople for 2019, taken from the annual list “The World's 100 Highest-Paid Athletes” published by Forbes magazine in June 2019. The earnings totals (in US dollars) are derived from salaries, bonuses, prize money, appearance fees, licensing and endorsement income in the 12 months from June 1, 2018 to June 1, 2019. 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 2019

Rank Name Sport Nationality Earnings ($ million) Previous Year
1 Lionel Messi Soccer Argentina 127 2
2 Cristiano Ronaldo Soccer Portugal 109 3
3 Neymar Soccer Brazil 105 5
4 Canelo Alvarez Boxing Mexico 94 15
5 Roger Federer Tennis Switzerland 93.4 7
6 Russell Wilson American Football USA 89.5 ??
7 Aaron Rogers American Football USA 89.3 ??
8 LeBron James Basketball USA 89 6
9 Stephen Curry Basketball USA 79.8 8
10 Kevin Durant Basketball USA 65.4 11

Next on the list were: Tiger Woods, Ben Roethlisberger, Lewis Hamilton, Anthony Joshua, Khalil Mack, Russell Westbrook, Novak Djokovic, Mike Trout, Phil Mickelson, James Harden.

money in NFLRussell Wilson was the highest paid athlete from the NFL

Highest Ranked For Each Sport in 2019

The highest ranked from each sport is listed below. This year 10 different sports were represented on the list. Basketball was the highest-paying sport overall, with 35 NBA players making the top 100, followed by the NFL with 19 players on the list.

Sport Overall Rank Name earning ($ million)
Soccer 1 Lionel Messi 127
Boxing 4 Canelo Alvarez 94
Tennis 5 Roger Federer 93.4
American Football 6 Russell Wilson 89.5
Basketball 8 LeBron James 89
Golf 11 Tiger Woods 63.9
Auto Racing 13 Lewis Hamilton 51
Baseball 17 Mike Trout 50.6
MMA 21 Conor McGregor 47
Cricket 100 Virat Kohli 25

source: from “The World's 100 Highest-Paid Athletes” published by Forbes magazine in June 2019.

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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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