May 22, 2024

The 10 highest-paid athletes in the world in 2023 rankings

Forbes ranking These are the highest-paid athletes in the world for 2023

Every year, Forbes magazine selects the highest-paid athletes in the world. Who will top the rankings in 2022? An overview of the top ten.

Whether they are a football star, basketball champion or American football player, professional athletes earn millions not only through their sporting achievements. Sponsorship and advertising contracts also provide high-profile athletes with additional high-paying income. The richest of them are included in the annual Forbes ranking of the highest paid athletes.

In the period from May 2022 to May 2023, the ten highest-paid athletes collectively earned more than one billion US dollars, according to the annual ranking of the famous American magazine Forbes. Here's a look at the highest earners during this period.

These are the highest-paid athletes in the world in the current 2023 rankings

Place 10: Kevin Durant– Phoenix Suns – Basketball

The basketball player is currently active with the Phoenix Suns in the NBA. With an annual income of $44.1 million in 2023, Kevin Durant is the 10th highest-paid athlete, according to Forbes.

In addition to his athletic achievements on the field, Kevin Durant also earns a significant income outside of sports, estimated at around $45 million. He has reportedly acquired shares in several sports brands in recent months, including volleyball League One and nutrition brand Happy Viking, through his investment firm 35V.

Ninth place: Roger Federer, tennis

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer ranks ninth in the current rankings of the highest-paid athletes in the world. Although Federer officially retired last year, he remains one of the highest-paid athletes with an estimated annual salary of $95 million.

The 42-year-old owns shares in Swiss shoe company On, among other companies, and has contracts with numerous brands, including sponsors such as Barilla, Mercedes Benz, JURA and Lindt & Sprüngli.

8th place: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors – Basketball

Stephen Curry is the highest-paid player on his team in the current season of the NBA, as he earned more than $50 million, making him the first player in history to reach this number. The 35-year-old recently signed a long-term endorsement contract with Under Armor that will run through the rest of his basketball career. In addition to his athletic successes, Curry is also active as a businessman. According to Forbes, his annual salary is $100.4 million.

Seventh place: Phil Mickelson – Golf

Phil Mickelson is one of the most successful golfers of all time. The American has won numerous titles in his career, including five major titles. Last year, he decided to switch from the PGA Tour to the LIV Golf Tour in Saudi Arabia, which has a much larger budget and attracts professional athletes with generous bonuses and guarantees. In golf, Mickelson is currently ranked second among the highest-paid athletes.

Sixth place: Dustin Johnson – Golf

Dustin Johnson was also among the leading golfers to join the LIV Golf Tour. According to media reports, Johnson received more than $35 million in guarantees in 2022. Forbes estimates his annual salary at $107 million.

Fifth place: Canelo Alvarez, boxing

Professional boxer Canelo Alvarez takes fifth place in the ranking of the highest paid athletes in 2023. Of the 64 professional fights he has fought so far, the 33-year-old Mexican has recorded an impressive 60 victories. Last year there were two amazing fights against Gennady Golovkin and Dmitry Bivol. Although Alvarez lost the latter, he still sees earnings of up to $40 million per fight, according to Sporting News.

fourth place: LeBron JamesLos Angeles Lakers – Basketball (NBA)

LeBron James ranks fourth in the rankings of the highest-paid athletes for the year 2023. The professional basketball player has a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, and is expected to earn about $47.6 million this season, according to the American “ESPN” television channel. However, most of his overall income comes from activities outside the basketball court. Forbes estimates that James earns a salary of $75 million through advertising partnerships, sponsorships, and investments. In 2015, he signed a lifetime advertising contract with sporting goods manufacturer Nike.

Third place: Kylian Mbappe, Paris Saint-Germain – Football

At just 24 years old, Frenchman Kylian Mbappe is the youngest athlete in this classification. According to the daily newspaper Le Parisien, the contract that Mbappe signed in Paris since the summer of 2022 is expected to bring him the equivalent of about $687 million in total over three years.

According to Forbes, the France international earns an annual salary of $100 million on the soccer field, as well as income from advertising and sponsorship deals of around $20 million.

Place 2: Lionel MessiInter Miami – Football

In 2023, Argentine professional footballer Lionel Messi, currently contracted with the American club Inter Miami, will take second place in the Forbes ranking of the highest-paid athletes. In July 2023, Messi moved from Paris Saint-Germain to the North American Professional League (MLS). Major League Soccer has now announced that Messi will receive an annual salary of $21 million, making him the highest-paid player in Major League Soccer.

Messi's total compensation, which also includes a share of Major League Soccer's Apple TV deal, is estimated at up to $62 million.

first place: Cristiano RonaldoAl-Nasr Club – Football

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo rose to the top of the ranking of highest-paid athletes in 2023, improving two places compared to the previous year. According to media reports, the 38-year-old player, who plays as a striker for Al-Nasr Club, will receive a salary of $200 million during the contract period of two and a half years. In comparison, Ronaldo earned around $60 million per year at his former club, Manchester United.

Many companies have asked Ronaldo as their advertising vehicle for many years. With more than 600 million followers on Instagram, the footballer became the most popular person in the world on Instagram in October 2023. As the face of the American sporting goods manufacturer Nike and through several small advertising deals, including contracts with Herbalife and Binance, he earns The Portuguese has millions more, according to Forbes.

The highest paid athletes in the world 2023 in the table

place family name nation Revenue (in US dollars)
1. Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal $136 million
2. Lionel Messi Argentina 130 million dollars
3. Kylian Mbappe France 120 million dollars
4. LeBron James United States of America $119.5 million
5. Canelo Alvarez Mexico $110 million
6. Dustin Johnson United States of America $107 million
7. Phil Mickelson United States of America $106 million
VIII. Stephen Curry United States of America $100.4 million
9. Roger Federer Switzerland $95.1 million
10. Kevin Durant United States of America $89.1 million
In total $1.113 billion

Transparency note: This article first appeared in WirtschaftsWoche in October 2020. We have updated it and are showing it again based on reader interest.

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