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Highest paid Sportsperson of 2020 as per Forbes

Highest paid Sportsperson of 2020 as per Forbes

Highest paid Sportsperson of 2020


Who says sports don’t pay well? Sports reward handsomely for those who follow their passion to the zenith and make it big.

As per the leading publication, Forbes’ compilation of the highest paid sportsperson of 2020, the top hundred sportspersons in the world earned a staggering $3.6 billion (or INR 27,000 crores!!) combined.

These top hundred richest sportspersons belong to 21 countries and ten sporting disciplines – namely football, soccer, tennis, basketball, baseball, car racing (F1, NASCAR), golf, boxing, and cricket. Interestingly, two female athletes cut this year’s ranking – Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka (both belonging to Tennis) – the first time in the Forbes ranking list history.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 richest athletes in the world.

  • Roger Federer (Tennis) – $106 million

Image Source – Britannica

As the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) in Tennis, Roger Federer is a modern-day legend with 20 Grand Slam titles to his credit. With accolades come the rewards, Federer is the highest paid sportsperson in the world with estimated earnings of over $106 million in 2020.

Federer has signed blockbuster endorsement deals with marquee brands such as Uniqlo, Mercedes Benz, Credit Suisse, Rolex, and many others. These multi-year endorsement deals dwarf his lifetime earnings of $130 million from playing the sport.


  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Football) – $105 million
Christiano Ronaldo

Image Source –

Another modern-day great, Ronaldo is a five-time recipient of the prestigious Ballon d’Or award, the highest recognition in football. He is second on the list of world’s highest paid athletes with earnings of $105 million – $45 million from playing football and $60 million from brand endorsements from Nike, Unilever, Herbalife, and others.


  • Lionel Messi (Football) – $104 million
Lionel Messi

Image Source – The Boston Globe

Lionel Messi needs no introduction to sports enthusiasts. This sportsperson’s charm and surreal football skills transcend across generations and continents. A six-time Ballon d’Or winner (the most in history), his estimated earnings top $104 million for the year 2020. 

Messi has a long-standing contract with his club Barcelona which fetches him $80 million annually. He also endorses brands such as Adidas, Pepsi, Mastercard, Huawei, and others.


  • Neymar Jr. (Football) –  $95 million
Neymar Jr.

Image Source -Neymar Jr.

The Brazilian star athlete created headlines when he moved from Barcelona to his current club Paris Saint-German (PSG), for an eye-popping transfer fee of $263 million. He earns close to $50 million in club salary alone. Off the football field, Neymar also endorses brands such as Nike, Gillette, Red Bull, Beat Electronics, and many more.


  • LeBron James (Basketball) – $88 million
LeBron James

Image Source- Forbes

NBA star LeBron James is a proud recipient of the Most Valuable Player (MVP) tag for a whopping four times. Apart from his professional commitments at the LA Lakers basketball club, James is also an entrepreneur and investor in multiple business franchises. This superstar athlete earns close to $88 million annually, including endorsements for Nike, Coca Cola, EA Sports, Walmart, and others.


  • Stephen Curry (Basketball) – $74 million
Stephen Curry

Image Source – The New Yorker

Stephen Curry is the highest paid sportsperson in the NBA since the last three seasons, and his club Golden State Warriors signed him on a $200 million contract – the highest ever in NBA history.

Curry earns $30 million in salary while his endorsements (Under Armour and others) fetch him another $44 million.


  • Kevin Durant (Basketball) – $64 million
Kevin Durant

Image Source- Sportsnet

Kevin Durant is an NBA superstar who plays for the club Brooklyn Nets and earned approximately $64 million in salary and endorsements in 2020. He joined the club after signing a four-year contract for $164 million in 2019.

This illustrious sportsperson earns almost $35 million from endorsements. Durant has also invested in dozens of companies, including many leading unicorn startups.


  • Tiger Woods (Golf) – $62 million
Tiger Woods

Image Source- Golf Channel

Widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all times, Tiger Woods has been regularly featured in the ‘highest paid’ list for many years. Woods is also one of the richest sportspersons to have ever played with estimated earnings of over $1.5 billion over the last 25 years of his professional career.

Endorsements constitute a significant chunk of Woods’ earnings – $60 million, from brands such as Nike, Rolex, Discovery Communication, Bridgestone, etc.


  • Kirk Cousins (American Football) – $61 million
Kirk Cousins

Image Source- numberFire

NFL star Kirk Cousins is the richest sportsperson in the league. His latest two-year contract extension with the club Vikings will fetch him $66 million plus a $30 million signing bonus.

Out of his $61 million in earnings during 2020, Cousins earned $2.5 million from endorsements for renowned brands like Nike, Bose, CenturyLink, Panini, etc.


  •  Carson Wentz (American Football) – $59 million
Carson Wentz

Image Source- amNewYork

Rounding off the top ten list is NFL star, Carson Wentz. Wentz started his professional career in 2016 and, since then, has broken multiple game records. His total earnings of $59 million in 2020 is a testimony to his immense talent.

Wentz endorses brands such as Nike, Amazon, Bose, Scheels, NRG, Bobcat, among others and is the 10th highest paid sportsperson of 2020.

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Building a Career in Sports Management in India

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