The 50 Highest-Paid Sports Stars in the World

From golf to basketball, to soccer and football, being a world class athlete can be a highly remunerative job.Newsweek
50. Mike Conley – NBA – Total earnings: $30 million.Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

It will come as no surprise that being talented at a sport is a good way to become a multi-millionaire, as Forbes’ list of the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes proves .

From golf to basketball, to soccer and football, being a world-class athlete can be a highly remunerative gig.

Forbes calculated a player's total earnings in 2018 by combining their reported total salary, winnings, bonuses and the amounts reported from a player’s endorsement deals — for golfers and tennis players, winnings represent their prize money.

Household names such as LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi all make the top 10, but for the first time since 2010 the list does not contain a single female athlete.

Serena Williams was the only representative last year, narrowly missing out on a spot in the top 50. However, the winner of 23 single grand slam titles has only just returned to action after giving birth to her daughter Alexis nine months ago and, while her endorsements stood at $18 million, it was not enough to remain in the list.

Unsurprisingly, the NBA dominates the list, with 40 players, 19 of whom are in the top 50 as opposed to the NFL’s nine. The latter has 18 players on the list overall.

Tennis, golf and soccer all have four athletes each in the first 50 positions. American athletes make up the lion’s share of the first 50 entries, while Europe has 11 representatives in the top half of the ranking.

At 47, golfer Phil Mickelson is the oldest athlete on the list, while 23-year-old Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is the youngest and he rounds up the top 30.

Join us as Newsweek counts down the 50 highest-paid sports stars in the world.

49. Albert Pujols – MLB – Total earnings: $30.3 million.Tom Pennington/Getty Images
48. Kyle Lowry – NBA – Total earnings: $30.5 million.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
47. David Price – MLB – Total earnings: $30.6 million.Bob Levey/Getty Images
46. Gordon Hayward – NBA – Total earnings: $30.8 million.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
45. Usain Bolt – Track and field – Total earnings: $31 million.Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
44. Klay Thompson – NBA – Total earnings: $31.1 million.Ethan Miller/Getty Images
43. Dwyane Wade – NBA – Total earnings: $31.8 million.Jeff Schear/Getty Images
42. Paul Millsap – NBA – Total earnings: $31.8 million.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
41. Chris Paul – NBA – Total earnings: $31.9 million.Harry How/Getty Images
40. Demar DeRozan – NBA – Total earnings: $33 million.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
39. Fernando Alonso – F1 – Total earnings: $33 million.Mark Thompson/Getty Image
38. Carmelo Anthony – NBA – Total earnings: $33.2 million.Elsa/Getty Images

It will come as no surprise that being talented at a sport is a good way to become a multi-millionaire, as Forbes’ list of the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes proves .

From golf to basketball, to soccer and football, being a world-class athlete can be a highly remunerative gig.

Forbes calculated a player's total earnings in 2018 by combining their reported total salary, winnings, bonuses and the amounts reported from a player’s endorsement deals — for golfers and tennis players, winnings represent their prize money.

Household names such as LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi all make the top 10, but for the first time since 2010 the list does not contain a single female athlete.

Serena Williams was the only representative last year, narrowly missing out on a spot in the top 50. However, the winner of 23 single grand slam titles has only just returned to action after giving birth to her daughter Alexis nine months ago and, while her endorsements stood at $18 million, it was not enough to remain in the list.

Unsurprisingly, the NBA dominates the list, with 40 players, 19 of whom are in the top 50 as opposed to the NFL’s nine. The latter has 18 players on the list overall.

Tennis, golf and soccer all have four athletes each in the first 50 positions. American athletes make up the lion’s share of the first 50 entries, while Europe has 11 representatives in the top half of the ranking.

At 47, golfer Phil Mickelson is the oldest athlete on the list, while 23-year-old Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is the youngest and he rounds up the top 30.

Join us as Newsweek counts down the 50 highest-paid sports stars in the world.