Messi, Ronaldo, Conor McGregor, Lewis Hamilton... their names are familiar. In this year of 2021, marked by an economic crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they have managed to earn even more money than in normal times. Sport News Africa has compiled the top 15 highest paid athletes in 2021.
It was thought that the global economic crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic would take its toll on their earnings. That for once their annual income, instead of skyrocketing, would drop. Not so! On the contrary, 2021 will have been a banner year for many of the world's athletes.
Better still, a period of records for them. The highest paid footballer of all time, the highest paid NFL player, the highest paid female athlete... All of which gives Forbes magazine more work than usual to establish its ranking of the highest paid athletes of the year 2021.
The reasons? Because, for this year, there are 50 athletes who have earned nearly 2.8 billion dollars in 12 months. That is an increase of 16% compared to last year's top 50. This is unprecedented. Another thing: the threshold for making the top 50 has risen from $28.5 million last year to $34 million this year. The highest ever. So as you may have guessed, despite the economic crisis that has hit the world, cash has been flowing for some sportsmen and women.
Here is the list of the top 15 highest paid athletes in 2021 (in dollars)
1, Conor McGregor (boxer) $180m
2. Lionel Messi (footballer) 130M
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (footballer) 120M
4. Dak Prescott (American football) 107.5M
5. Lebron James (basketball player) 96.5M
6. Neymar (footballer) 95M
7. Roger Federer (tennis player) 90M
8. Lewis Hamilton (F1 driver) 82M
9. Tom Brady (American footballer) 76M
10. Kevin Durant (basketball player) 75M
11. Stephen Curry (basketball player) 74.5M
12. Naomi Osaka (tennis player) 60M
13. Tiger Wood (golfer) 60M
14. Russell Westbrook (basketball player) 59M
15. Patrick Mahomes (American footballer) 54.5M