who top the highest-paid athletes Forbes list ahead of Messi, Ronaldo
Mixed Martial Artist, Conor McGregor, has been named as the world’s highest-paid athlete, beating Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the top spot, according to the annual Forbes list.
The ten highest-paid athletes in the world, which included NBA star, Lebron James and Tennis legend, Roger Federer, were said to have taken home pretax gross earnings of $1.05 billion during the past 12 months, 28 per cent more than last year’s top earners.
According to Forbes, the combined haul falls just a few million short of the $1.06 billion record set in 2018, the 12-month window in which boxer Floyd Mayweather earned $285 million, almost all of it from his 2017 pay-per-view fight with Conor McGregor.
The Irish fighter, according to the magazine, collected a total of $180 million over the last 12 months; most of that comes from his recent sale of his majority stake in whiskey brand Proper No. Twelve to Proximo Spirits for $150 million.
Adding in his endorsements, McGregor made $158m outside of his fighting career over the last 12 months, becoming only the third athlete, after Roger Federer and Tiger Woods, to earn more than $70 million off the field in a single year while still actively competing.
Although McGregor lost his rematch against Dustin Poirier in January this year in Abu Dhabi, the 32-year-old made just $22m (£15m) from the fight in the Octagon.
Forbes reported that it would be his first time at No. 1 and his second appearance in the top ten (he landed at No. 4 with $99 million in 2018 after the fight against Mayweather) and McGregor is looking towards more business plans having recently expressed interest in buying Manchester United, the Premier League’s most valuable team, in recent tweets.
The trio of Barcelona and Argentina’s Messi, Portugal and Juventus forward Ronaldo and NFL quarterback Dak Prescott also surpassed $100 million in total earnings this year to rank 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively on the top 10 highest-paid athletes.
See Forbes top 10 highest-paid athletes below:
Conor McGregor – $158 m (MMA)
Lionel Messi – $130m (£92m) (Football/Barcelona)
Cristiano Ronaldo – $120m (£85m) (Football/Juventus)
Dak Prescott – $107.5m (NFL/Dallas Cowboys)
Lebron James – $96.5m (NBA/LA Lakers)
Neymar – $95m (Football/PSG)
Roger Federer -$90m (Tennis)
Lewis Hamilton – $82m (Formula 1/Mercedes)
Tom Brady – $76m (NFL/Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Kevin Durant – $75m (NBA/Brooklyn Nets)
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