Gone are the days when people used to play sports just for fun as it is now a full-fledged industry where billions of dollars have been invested by different entities to promote their brands. It is because of this reason people who get to the very top earn a staggering amount of money throughout their short career.
Here, we are bringing you five of the highest-paid athletes during the 2010s who have collectively earned more than €3 billion over the course of last 10 years.
#5 Roger Federer
Fifth in the list is Swiss tennis star Roger Federer. The former world number one is the most successful player in the history of men’s tennis in the Open Era as he has won 20 Grand Slam titles in his career. The 38-year-old went on to win five Grand Slam titles in the last decade and also finished runners-up on five occasions. Federer has 7.1 million followers on Instagram, 12.7 million followers on Twitter and 14 million followers on Facebook. Over the last decade, Federer went on to earn €574 million which is the highest by any tennis player during that duration.
#4 LeBron James
Fourth in this prestigious list is Los Angeles (LA) Galaxy’s LeBron James. The 35-year-old is the most famous basketball player in the world and currently has 120 million followers combined on his Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. James had a great decade where he went on to win three NBA titles in 2012, 2013 and 2016 and on all three occasions, he was named as the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player. James currently earns an annual salary of $36.5 million which makes him the second-highest earner in the NBA behind Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry who is currently earning a salary of $37.46 million. Over the last decade, James’ total registered earnings were staggering €610 million.
#3 Lionel Messi
Third in the list is Spanish La Liga giants FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. The Argentine is being termed as arguably the best footballer of this generation and has an astonishing fan-base all over the world. The versatile attacker has 141 million followers on Instagram—seventh-most in the world and second-most by any sportsman. Messi had a quite successful decade where he went on to win numerous La Liga and UEFA Champions League titles with the Catalan-based club and nearly took his national team to a World Cup glory in 2014. The 32-year-old managed to register earnings of €673 million in the last decade and currently has a salary of €40 million per season with Barcelona which also makes him the highest-earning footballer currently on the planet.
#2 Cristiano Ronaldo
Second on the list is Italian Serie A giants Juventus’ star forward Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese international is the most famous athlete on social media and has 197 million followers on Instagram—most by any individual in the world. Ronaldo has had an extremely successful decade where he went on to win four UEFA Champions League titles with Real Madrid, two titles with his national team Portugal and numerous Ballon d’Or awards. With the 34-year-old moving to the Serie A, there were reports that it had a positive impact on the Turin-based club’s overall worth. Ronaldo’s overall earnings of the decade were stunning €717 million and he is currently on an annual salary of €31 million with Juventus which makes him the highest-earning player in Italy.
#1 Floyd Mayweather
First in this prestigious list is a former professional boxer Floyd Mayweather. The 42-year-old had an outstanding decade on the professional level where he finished his career with 50 bouts and remained unbeaten throughout. Former unified World Boxing Organization (WBO), World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA) Welterweight champion registered earnings of €820 million which puts him on the top of the list.