Messi Among the Highest-Paid Athletes of All Time

Cristiano Ronaldo has joined the ranks of the highest-earning athletes in history, alongside legendary figures like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. With a career earnings of a whopping $1.92 billion (£1.49 billion), Ronaldo has secured his position as the highest-paid footballer of all time. In comparison, his longtime rival Lionel Messi trails behind in second place with $1.67 billion (£1.30 billion). According to Sportico, football icon David Beckham also ranks high among football players, with an impressive total of $1.5 billion USD. However, when we look beyond football, the landscape changes. Basketball superstar Michael Jordan reigns supreme with a staggering income of $3.75 billion USD (2.92 billion Pound), while golf legend Tiger Woods follows closely in second place with adjusted earnings of $2.66 billion (£2.07 billion). Ronaldo holds strong in third place, with golfing great Arnold Palmer ($1.76 billion) and basketball phenom LeBron James ($1.7 billion) rounding out the top five. Lionel Messi, fresh off his 2022 World Cup victory, takes the sixth spot on the list.


Places Athlete Income is adjusted for inflation Income is not adjusted
first Michael Jordan $3.75 billion (£2.92 billion) $2.75 billion (£2.14 billion)
2 Tiger Woods $2.66 billion (£2.07 billion) $1.85 billion (£1.44 billion)
3 Cristiano Ronaldo $1.92 billion (£1.49 billion) $1.57 billion (£1.22 billion)
4 Arnold Palmer $1.76 billion (£1.37 billion) $1.36 billion (£1.06 billion)
5 LeBron James $1.7 billion (£1.34 billion) $1.36 billion (£1.06 billion)
=6 Jack Nicklaus $1.67 billion (£1.30 billion) $890 million (£693 million)
=6 Lionel Messi $1.67 billion (£1.30 billion) $1.36 billion (£1.06 billion)
8 David Beckham $1.5 billion (£1.17 billion) $1.13 billion (£880 million)
9 Roger Federer $1.49 billion (£1.16 billion) $1.17 billion (£910 million)
ten Floyd Mayweather $1.48 billion (£1.15 billion) $1.14 billion (£890 million)

Athletes with the highest salary in history: Ronaldo is 3 places higher than Messi, still below 2 people 418595

Ronaldo is currently ranked third on the list of highest-paid athletes globally. According to the latest data, Michael Jordan holds the top spot with an adjusted income of $3.75 billion, followed by Tiger Woods at $2.66 billion. Ronaldo comes in third with a whopping $1.92 billion in adjusted earnings. Having recently signed a lucrative contract with Al Nassr, Ronaldo will be looking to justify his high salary by leading the team to success in both the Saudi Pro League and AFC Champions League this season. On the other hand, Messi and his Inter Miami teammates are focused on maintaining their positive start in the 2024 MLS season and adding more trophies to their collection in Florida.

Scroll to Top