Some athletes have achieved celebrity status and have a huge fan following all over the world. They have become very rich and famous. Here are the top 20 richest athletes of all time, ranked according to their net worth. Not suprisingly, many of the richest athletes are football (soccer) players. No matter where you live, or who you support, make sure you watch the upcoming 2022 Qatar World Cup (世界盃足球賽).
The Richest Athletes ever
=20) Phil Mickelson – Net Worth $180 Million
This American professional golfer has won 40 PGA events. He has earned more than $65 million in tournament prizes during his career.
=20) Lionel Messi – $180 Million
Lionel Messi is the highest paid soccer player in the world. His annual base salary is $41.7 million. He earns additional $20-$30 million annually through endorsements. He earned in total $65 million between 2013-2014.
19) Derek Jeter – Net Worth: $185 Million
This American baseball player earns between $30 million and $35 million every year. With an annual salary of $15.3 million, Jeter earned $24.3 million which include endorsements from 2013 to 2014.
18) Gary Player – Net Worth: $200 Million
This South African professional golfer is one of the most respected of all PGA golfers. He has millions of fans worldwide.
17) Manny Pacquiao (Net worth: $200 Million)
This Filipino professional boxer has won 54 out of 61 matches, with two draws. Many boxing experts consider him to be the pound for pound #1 boxer in the world. He is the only boxer to win titles in seven different weight classes.
16) George Foreman – Net Worth: $250 Million
This retired American boxer is also a successful businessman. He lives in 40 acre estate in Texas with his fifth wife Mary Joan and kids. After retirement Foreman became the spokesperson of Russell Hobbs Inc., a manufacturer of home appliances. Earning $137 million in 1999, for the company’s right to use his name, “George Foreman grill.” Foreman is reported to have earned $200 million endorsing the company.
15) Cristiano Ronaldo – Net Worth: $250 Million
This Portuguese professional soccer player and sex symbol earns a base salary of $40 million every year. He makes additional $30 million through endorsements. He was the first Portuguese player to sign with MU. His 2014 total earnings alone reached $80 million.
14) Kobe Bryant – Net Worth: $260 Million
This American basketball superstar plays for Los Angeles Lakers. He excelled at basketball in high school. His annual salary with the Lakers is $30.5 million. He earns millions through endorsements.
13) LeBron James – Net Worth: $270 Million
This American professional basketball player earned $19 million in salary from the Miami Heat and around $53 million from endorsements. His total annual income is approximately around $72 million.
12) Jack Nicklaus – Net Worth: $280 Million
This American professional golfer became a pro in 1961. He has 115 professional wins to his credit, and is considered to be one of the greatest golf players of all time. He has won the PGA tour 73 times.
11) Roger Federer – Net Worth: $300 Million
This Swiss born professional tennis player has a total ATP career earnings of $81 million as of June 2014. He featured #16 on Forbes’ list of highest paid athletes of 2014 with a total earnings of $55 million. Soon after turning pro in 1999, he reached the semi-finals of a tournament in Vienna. He held the number one ranked player in the world title for a record 237 consecutive weeks.
10) Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – Net Worth: $300 Million
This American NASCAR driver and media personality began his racing career when he was 17 year old. He earned a total of $25.9 million in 2014.
9) Greg Norman – Net Worth: $300 Million
This successful professional golfer is also a successful entrepreneur. He was ranked #1 for a record 330 weeks. He has won 20 PGA tours and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001.
8) David Beckham – Net Worth: $350 Million
This retired English soccer player made his professional soccer debut at the age of 17. Regarded as one of the greatest players in Britain’s football history, Beckham made the huge amount of his fortune off pitch as one of the biggest endorsers in the world. His business group, Beckham Miami United has agreed to finance a $250 million stadium in Florida with 20,000 seats.
7) Shaquille O’neal – Net Worth: $350 Million
This retired American basketball player, television host and entrepreneur began gaining attention for his basketball skills when he was in high school. In 2005, he signed a 5-year contract with the Miami Heat for $100 million. He appears in many commercials. O’neal earned a total of $292,198,327 in career salary alone.
6) Floyd Mayweather Jr. – Net Worth: $400 Million
This world famous American boxing champion has won six boxing championships in five different weight classes. His professional boxing record is an awesome 45 wins. He has not lost at all. He is the richest boxer of all time. In 2013-14 alone Floyd became the highest paid athletes earning $105 million, according to Forbes.
One of his passions is to post photos of himself handling stacks of money, BIG money! Among his expenses, he owns a whopping $6.4 million worth watch collection, an impressive collection of all-white luxury cars.
5) Magic Johnson – Net Worth: $500 Million
This retired American basketball player is also a very successful entrepreneur. He fell in love with basketball at an early age. During his playing career, he earned just over $18 million in salary and several million more in endorsements.
4) Tiger Woods – Net Worth: $550 Million
This American professional golfer is one of the greatest athletes of all time. He has earned numerous accolades. He has been ranked #1 for more consecutive weeks than any other player. He was the first athlete to earned $1 billion in salary and endorsements.
3) Arnold Palmer – Net Worth: $675 Million
This American professional golfer turned pro in 1954. Today he is considered to be one of the greatest golf players of all time. He has won the PGA tour 62 times and the Championship Tour 10 times. Also a powerful entrepreneur, Arnold Palmer’s line of drinks is worth over $200 million. The Palmer name is licensed all over Asia and has more than 400 freestanding stores in Asia that sell apparel and leather goods that bear his name.
2) Michael Schumacher – Net Worth: $800 Million
This Formula One race car driver began racing at a very early age. He is considered to be the most successful and the world’s most decorated Formula One driver of all time. At the peak of his career, he was paid $10 million per year by Shell to wear a hat with the company’s logo at nearly all public appearances.
1) Michael Jordan – Net Worth: $1 Billion
The first billionaire athlete, according to Forbes’ 2015 rich list. This former American basketball player is also a smart entrepreneur. He earns around $80-$100 million every year through his many business ventures and endorsements. He earns $60 million annually through Nike/Jordan brand royalties alone. His time in the NBA earned him just $90,235,000.
His trainers sold at auction for $560,000