Since the early times, sports have always been a symbol of true potential and power. From the early Roman Empire to modern times, people have developed feelings for athletes. However, with the introduction of rules and strategies, sports have started to formalize. Human evolution has led to many sports come to their final form and earn great popularity among the masses. As a result, athletics started becoming common.
Athletes are said to earn quite a hefty amount because sports are not only entertaining to watch but also holds great monetary potential. Athletes have also been one of the highest paying, irrespective of the sports category, due to mass recognition.
See also: Largest Sports Stadiums in the World
Here is a list of the 20 most popular athletes that count down as one of the highest-paid ones!
1) Roger Federer
There is no introduction needed to this name! Roger Federer is an athlete best known in the World of Tennis. He is a popular Swiss player and has bagged many credible awards under his name. Federer ranks on the fifth spot at the overall tennis players rankings of ATP. The Swiss athlete has also been awarded Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award thirteen times. Along with that, he is a five-time winner of Laureus World Sportsman of the Year. Roger Federer has bagged the number one spot in the $100 million endorsements list of athletes in 2020.
2) Christiano Ronaldo
Most popularly known as CR7, Christiano Ronaldo is one of those names that athletic fans just can not ignore! He is a player from Portugal. In addition to being great in sports, Ronaldo has a huge fan base because of his incredible looks. Christiano Ronaldo has scored a groundbreaking 750 career goals and lands as the first European footballer to achieve 100 international goals. At the mere age of 18, Ronaldo had made his international debut in football and has won 170 caps till now.
3) Lionel Messi
Belonging to the Argentinian team, Messi is a football player that no sports fan can easily miss! He is an athlete that has demonstrated an amazing record throughout his career, making him one of the highest-paid. He has been acknowledged as one of the greatest football players and has won a total of six European Golden Shoes. Messi can be regarded as one of the world’s best players and has also been regarded by Forbes in 2019 as one of the highest-paid athletes globally.
The World of football is incomplete without mentioning Neymar. He is a very famous athlete who belongs to the Brazilian football team. Due to his excellent record of scoring 64 goals at just the mere age of 18, he has been named an asset for the Brazilian football team. Neymar debuted in the World of football at the age of 17. He is regarded among top football players in the World and has embarked his name among other credible athletes. In 2013, Neymar also won Golden Ball after being awarded as the player of the tournament.
5) LeBron James
Being compared to the skills and strategic moves of Micheal Jordan, LeBron James is one name that no NBA fan can ever overlook! In the history of the NBA League, James is considered to be the o ly player that has successfully won NB Championships under three franchises as Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and LA Lakers.
6) Stephen Curry
Known to the NBA fans as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Stephen Curry stands out from other players due to his unique shooting tactics. He is among those athletes that drastically transformed their sports for the better. In this case, Curry has been credited to make an effective demonstration of 3-point shots. Moreover, Curry has also been named the Most Valuable Player in the NBA two times.
7) Kevin Durant
Speaking of all the NBA players that have made it huge in the league, the fans can not just ignore Kevin Durant or KD, as people popularly call him. He has been associated with numerous endorsements despite his team and has also earned a lead role in the movie titled “Thunderstruck”. Being exceptionally talented, Durant also contributes as a writer in The Players Tribune.
8) Tiger Woods
For a niche segment that is a big fan of golf, Tiger Woods is a name not rare to them! Tiger Woods is an athlete who has made his name shine in the World of golf by having many records under his name. The best lesson to learn from the success of Tiger Woods is his consistent behavior, for his golf career also progressed gradually from junior to a level of being an amateur golfer. In 2021, it is said that Woods will be acknowledged under the World Golf Hall of Fame.
9) Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins is an American athlete best known in the World of football. He plays as a quarterback and is famous in the National Football League. Kirk Cousins ranks in the sixth spot in NFL’s career passer rating, for an all-time tenure. He has also been named as 2017 Pro Bowl.
10) Carson Wentz
Carson Wentz is yet another name in the NFL that can not go unnoticed! Wentz created history by becoming the only quarterback in the NFL to have thrown 4000 yards with no substantial receiver within its range of 500 yards. In 2017, Wentz also underwent an injury, but he has ultimately been able to recover and perform to his true potential and spirit.
11) Tyson Fury
Tyson is regarded as one of the highest-paid modern athletes. His boxing style has helped him grab the heavyweight championship twice. Fury turned to professional boxing at the age of 20. According to ESPN, he has been rated as one of the active athletes in the heavyweight category worldwide. His performance from 2015 to 2019 has helped him earn a credible repute in professional boxing.
12) Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook is an amazing basketball player who has earned a great name as an athlete. He holds the award as Most Valuable Player for his performance during the season of 2016-2017. Moreover, he has consecutively won Most Valuable Player for the NBA All-Star Game in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Westbr0ok is also crowned to hold the most triple-doubles record.
13) Lewis Hamilton
Being a multi-talented person, Lewis Hamilton has not only made his name in athletics but also in the world of fashion and music. He is a professional racer who had previously been associated with McLaren from 2007 until 2012. However, Hamilton represented Mercedes during his recent participation in Formula One.
14) Rory Mcllroy
Rory McIlroy is yet another professional golfer who has made his name in the World due to his consistent performance. He had entered the golfing arena in 2007 as an amateur. However, that very same year turned his career out as a professional golfer and landed him on a European Tour. Mcllroy is also among key golfers to have won four majors by the time he was 25.
15) Jared Goff
Jared Goff is a professional football player, best known for his quarterback position. He used to play football in college for UC Berkeley, which landed him a spot in the NFL in 2016. Goff has also been responsible for taking “The Rams” to winning the season. He has also been honored in Pro Bowl.
16) Conor McGregor
Now, he is an athlete that is setting goals in the World of multiple sports! Conor McGregor is a professional boxer who is also well equipped with martial arts. McGregor has also landed himself as a UFC featherweight champion along with being the UFC lightweight champion. He is one of the highest-selling athletes with one of the biggest PPV (pay-per-view) scale in history.
17) James Harden
For all the basketball fans out there, James Harden is a name not unknown to them! He plays for “Brooklyn Nets”. Harden has earned great credibility due to his unique shooting style and is regarded as one of the iconic shooting players in the NBA history. He is also regarded as a top-rated player across seasons for the NBA league.
18) Giannis Antetokounmpo
Speaking of all the NBA players that have successfully become the highest-paid athlete through their performance, Giannis Antetokounmpo stands no different! He is a basketball player born in Greece but had native Nigerian parents. He entered the NBA league professionally in 2013. His extraordinary performance in the game gave him the nickname of “Greek Freak”.
19) Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua is regarded as one of the greatest heavyweight champions. He is a professional boxer and is renowned because of being an excellent performer. From 2015 to 2016, Joshua has also been entitled British and Commonwealth champion. Anthony Joshua started his career as an amateur boxer in 2011. In 2017, his victory against Wladimir Klitschko became historic with being named as Fight of the Year.
20) Deontay Wilder
Wilder is an American boxer who is very famous because of his unmatched skills. One of the greatest aspects of his persona is becoming an athlete who held WBC heavyweight title from 2015 to 2020 consecutively. His debut in boxing took place at the age of 20. He has also earned a bronze medal in the heavyweight category during the 2008 Olympics, granting him the nickname “The Bronze Bomber”.
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