Forbes magazine, who calculates annually the highest-paid athletes of the year, have combined all their data to determine who is the highest paid athlete of all time. This list includes earnings up to and including 2016.
Jordan Highest of the Highest Paid
On top of this list is basketballer Michael Jordan, who had a long and well paid career and continues to make millions after leaving the game. He is still earning more money annually than all active NBA players. Second on the list, just behind Jordan, is Tiger Woods. If not for his temporary fall from grace, he would be on top. Golfers made up the 2nd to 4th positions, not surprising as it is a sport that players earn well, have large endorsements, have a long career and can continue to earn well after their playing career is over.
|1||Michael Jordan||USA||Basketball||$1.7 billion|
|2||Tiger Woods||USA||Golf||$1.65 billion|
|3||Arnold Palmer||USA||Golf||$1.35 billion|
|4||Jack Nicklaus||USA||Golf||$1.15 billion|
|5||Michael Schumacher||Germany||Motorsports||$1 billion|
|6||Kobe Bryant||USA||Basketball||$770 million|
|7||Floyd Mayweather||USA||Boxing||$765 million|
|8||Phil Mickelson||USA||Golf||$760 million|
|9||David Beckham||England||Football (Soccer)||$730 million|
|10||Shaquille O'Neal||USA||Basketball||$700 million|
|11||Mike Tyson||USA||Boxing||$685 million|
|12||Greg Norman||Australia||Golf||$680 million|
|13||Lebron James||USA||Basketball||$640 million|
|14||Christiano Ronaldo||Portugal||Football (Soccer)||$620 million|
|15||Roger Federer||Switzerland||Tennis||$600 million|
|16||Alex Rodriguez||USA||Baseball||$600 million|
|17||Lionel Messi||Argentina||Football (Soccer)||$520 million|
|18||Jeff Gordon||USA||Motorsports||$515 million|
|19||Oscar de la Hoya||USA||Boxing||$510 million|
|20||Manny Pacquiao||Philippines||Boxing||$490 million|
source: data from Forbes online, December 2016. Earnings are in 2016 US dollar value.
- More highest paid all-time lists
- Top-10 highest paid athletes for 2016
- Michael Jordan appeared high on the Forbes list the most times
- List of Highest paid Athletes Lists.