Which country has the highest paid athletes


Professional athletes earn more than ever - thanks to rising salaries, which come about through increasingly lucrative TV contracts. Perhaps the most well-known professional footballers of our time are in the first three places.

Lionel Messi
Income: $ 127 million


Since his debut at FC Barcelona in 2003, Messi has played 459 games for his club, scoring 427 goals (figures refer to league games only). Internationally, he has won 33 club titles with Barcelona, ​​including 10 La Liga titles. His current Barcelona contract runs until 2020-21 and pays him over $ 80 million annually. He also has a lifetime contract with Adidas. He was voted FIFA Player of the Year five times and won the European Golden Shoe six times as the continent's top scorer.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Income: $ 109 million


After nine years at Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo moved to the Italian record champions Juventus Turin in 2018. Within 24 hours of its release, Juventus sold 520,000 Ronaldo jerseys for over $ 60 million. He has been named FIFA World Player of the Year five times and tops the list of goalscorers in the UEFA Champions League (127 goals). The native Portuguese is the most popular athlete on social media platforms with almost 400 million followers.

Income: $ 105 million


Neymar has a five-year contract with French first division club Paris Saint-Germain that runs until 2022 - his salary is estimated at around US $ 350 million during that time. Neymar's transfer from Barcelona to PSG is the most expensive in professional football to date, at $ 263 million. With over 200 million followers, the Brazilian is the second most popular athlete on the social media platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Canelo Álvarez
Income: $ 94 million


The sports streaming service DAZN paid US $ 365 million in 2018 to exclusively show the next eleven fights of the biggest pay-per-view star in boxing. The Mexican professional boxer earned around US $ 50 million with his first two fights on DAZN.

Roger Federer
Income $ 93.4 million


The Swiss is considered the best tennis player of all time. In 2018, at the age of 36, he briefly returned to the tennis throne, making him the oldest number one in tennis. Federer has won US $ 128 million in prize money (as of November 2019) in his career. With US $ 86 million in advertising revenue from partners such as Credit Suisse, Mercedes-Benz and Rolex, he is way ahead of most other professional athletes.

Russell Wilson
Income: $ 89.5 million

Aaron Rodgers
Income: $ 89.3 million

LeBron James
Income: $ 89 million

Stephen Curry
Income: $ 79.8 million

Kevin Durant
Income: $ 65.4 million


Check out the full list here: https://www.forbes.com/athletes/

The article was published in our October 2019 issue of “Handel”.