25 Highest Paid Athletes In The World Who Can Afford Pretty Much Anything They Want

Posted by , Updated on November 14, 2022

Have you ever wondered how much your favorite athlete earns? Sure we can probably guess it’s a considerable amount more than us normal folk, but how much more is the real question. Well today we set out to find out and the results are…surprising. But before we present you with our findings a disclaimer: Keep in mind that this list doesn’t count total wealth. Tiger Woods is arguably one of the richest athletes on Earth but his annually earnings (as of 2015) are not that high. Secondly, this list is based on Forbes’s rankings of highest paid athletes. One thing you’ll notice is that at several points the level of earnings jumps by nearly $10 million and then right at the end it really skyrockets. Other than that, the earnings increase fairly steadily from athlete to athlete.  So, get your cleats ready because these are the 25 Highest Paid Athletes In The World Who Can Afford Pretty Much Anything They Want!


Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo AnthonySource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

The American NBA player will earn just over $30 million in 2015



NeymarSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

As captain of the Brazilian football (soccer) team, Neymar will earn a bit more than Carmelo at $31 million.


Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Mahendra Singh DhoniSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

The captain of the Indian cricket team also makes $31 million.


Rafael Nadal

Rafael NadalSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

The Spanish tennis player is widely regarded as the greatest clay court player in history. His nickname is even the “King of Clay”. In 2015 his earning are estimated to be $32.5 million.


Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian VettelSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Sebastian is a German Formula One driver who holds a number of “youngest” records. His earnings are $33 million.


Derrick Rose

Derrick RoseSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

The youngest player to ever win the NBA most valuable player award, Derrick Rose will make $33.9 million in 2015.


Jon Lester

Jon LesterSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

As is usually the case with baseball, Jon’s salary is actually higher than many other athletes on this list at $33.7 million. His endorsements, however, only totaled $0.4 million putting him at 19th place.


Gareth Bale

Gareth BaleSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

The Welsh footballer (soccer player) earns roughly $35 million per year.


Fernando Alonso

Fernando AlonsoSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

A Spanish Formula One driver, El Nano (his nickname) makes about $35.5 million annually.


Ndamukong Suh

Ndamukong SuhSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Although he is often criticized for his aggressive style of play, and he has been named the least-liked player in the NFL, Suh probably doesn’t care very much as he collects his $38.6 million.


Lewis Hamilton

Lewis HamiltonSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

A British Formula One racer, Lewis has been labeled the “first black driver in Formula One”. His earnings amount to $39 million.


Zlatan Ibrahimović

Zlatan IbrahimovićSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

The Swedish footballer has been called one of Sweden’s greatest athletes ever. He will make $39.1 million in 2015.


Novak Djokovic

Novak DjokovicSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

A Serbian tennis player, Novak is known as one of the greatest tennis players ever. This is also the first big earnings jump on our list with Novak making nearly $10 million more than our last athlete, Zlatan Ibrahimović. In 2015 he is expected to make $48.2 million.


Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroySource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

This Northern Irish golfer is the first European to win three different majors. His earnings total to $48.3 million.


Ben Roethlisberger

Ben RoethlisbergerSource: wikipedia, Image: denverjeffrey via flickr

An NFL quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ben is the highest paid American Football player on our list. He makes $48.9 million per year.


Kobe Bryant

Kobe BryantSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

The youngest NBA player ever to reach 30,000 career points, Kobe makes nearly $50 million every year.


Tiger Woods

Tiger WoodsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Although Tiger is the first athlete to be worth more than $1 billion, this year he will only make $50.6 million, which means he is no longer the highest paid golfer on our list. That award now goes to…


Phil Mickelson

Phil MickelsonSource: wikipedia, Image: tourprogolfclubs via flickr

At $50.8 million Phil is now the highest paid golfer in the world.


Kevin Durant

Kevin DurantSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Although Kevin makes $54.1 million he is only the second highest paid NBA player.


Lebron James

Lebron JamesSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

At $64.8 million Lebron is the highest paid basketball player in the world. This is also the 2nd big salary jump on our list. Lebron earns roughly $10 million more than Kevin Durant.


Roger Federer

Roger FedererSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

The Swiss tennis player is the highest paid tennis player on Earth at $67 million.


Lionel Messi

Lionel MessiSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

The captain of the Argentinian football team earns $73.8 million.


Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano RonaldoSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

The Portuguese football captain is the highest paid footballer in the world at $79.6 million.


Manny Pacquiao

Manny PacquiaoSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

The last two are different in several ways. First of all, they are both boxers. Second of all, they earn significantly more than anybody else on this list. Manny, from the Philippines, is at second place with $160 million.


Floyd Mayweather

Floyd MayweatherSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Far and away the highest paid athlete in the world, American boxer Floyd Mayweather will earn $300 million in 2015. That’s nearly twice as much as Manny, the second highest paid athlete on our list.

SEE ALSO: 25 Most Intelligent Animals On Earth »


Show Us Your Love
Join Over 2 Million+ List25 Fans