Here are lists of the highest paid athletes from each country of the world in 2011, according to ESPN The Magazine. This data only includes the highest paid athlete from each country based on the official base salary or earnings from the most recently completed season or calendar year, but does not include endorsements, appearance fees, sponsorship money and other sources of extra income. ESPN also published a list of the top salaries from each sport for 2011.
Here are the top 10 countries with the highest paid athletes. The USA and Philippines tied with the highest paid athletes Alex Rodriguez and Manny Pacquiao, with the lowest paid bring sprinter Michael Junior Jackson from Niue (see complete list).
|rank||Country||Annual Salary||Best-Paid Athlete||Sport||League, Team
|1||USA||32,000,000||Alex Rodriguez||baseball||MLB, New York Yankees|
|2||Philippines||32,000,000||Manny Pacquiao||boxing||two fights in 2010|
|3||Finland||26,333,333||Kimi Raikkonen||auto racing||World Rally Championship|
|4||Spain||22,736,842||Fernando Alonso||auto racing||Formula One|
|5||Venezuela||21,644,707||Johan Santana||baseball||MLB, New York Mets|
|6||Italy||20,800,000||Valentino Rossi||motorcycle racing||Moto GP|
|7||Portugal||19,500,000||Cristiano Ronaldo||soccer||La Liga, Real Madrid|
|8||Puerto Rico||19,325,436||Carlos Beltran||baseball||MLB, New York Mets|
|9||Dominican Republic||19,000,000||Alfonso Soriano||baseball||MLB, Chicago Cubs|
|10||Argentina||19,000,000||Carlos Tevez||soccer||EPL, Manchester City|
Top Ten Countries Per GDP
Even though Alex Rodriguez and Manny Pacquiao earned the same base salary in 2011, Manny will be much better off with his $32 million back home in the Philippines. To highlight which athletes will be best off at home with their earnings, we have compared the salary to the per capita GDP. The GDP per capita is the average amount that the country produces per citizen, and is an indication of the strength of the ecconomy in that country. The highest ranked athlete is Emmanuel Adebayor who earned 24,792 times more than his country's per capita GDP.
Below are the top 10 on this list - you can see the complete list the 182 countries/athletes based on per capita GDP.
|Rank||Country||Best-Paid Athlete||Sport||Annual Salary||Per Capita GDP||Salary / PC-GDP|
|4||Ivory Coast||Yaya Toure||soccer||18,200,000||1093||16651|
|5||Dem. Rep. of the Congo||Herita Ilunga||soccer||2,730,000||170||16059|
- This list is only based on the highest paid athlete from each country based on the official base salary or earnings from the most recently completed season or calendar year, but does not include endorsements, appearance fees, sponsorship money and other sources of extra income.
- Only countries are listed from which an official salary data was available. No figures were available from Afghanistan, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Salaries not available for Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bhutan, Bonaire, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Dominica, East Timor, Grenada, Mauritus, Micronesia, Monaco, Monserrat, Myanmar, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grendadines, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos or Yemen.
- This data was published in ESPN The Magazine (May 2, 2011) - the ‘All About the Money’ issue.
- More ESPN lists
- other sporting lists, including the Forbes list of the World's Best Paid Athletes
- More about the World of Sport