Giannis Antetokounmpo is in fifth place on the list of the highest paid athletes in the world

17 May, 2024

According to Forbes, the Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo’s annual revenue for 2024 is $111 million (USD). $46 million from his contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, while the remaining $65 million from off-court activities through various trade deals and sponsorship.

Christiano Ronaldo on top for 2024

In the eight years since he became the world’s highest-paid athlete for the first time, much has changed for Cristiano Ronaldo. The 39-year-old Portuguese soccer star went from lighting up the Bernabéu with Real Madrid to stints with Juventus and Manchester United, until finally landing at his current home, Al Nassr of the Saudi Pro League. But no matter the location, one thing has remained constant—Ronaldo is still drawing outsized paydays.

He earned an estimated $260 million over the last 12 months, making him the highest-paid athlete in the world for the fourth time in his career. Forbes estimates Ronaldo’s contract with Al Nassr earned him $200 million this season. And as one of the sports world’s most successful pitchmen, Ronaldo earned another $60 million off the field from an endorsement portfolio that includes Nike, Binance and Herbalife, among others.

Courtesy Forbes

The world’s highest paid athletes

In total, the world’s 50 highest-paid athletes hauled in an estimated $3.88 billion over the last 12 months before taxes and agents’ fees, up 13% from last year’s record mark of $3.44 billion. Roughly 76%, or $2.94 billion, came from on-field earnings (salaries, bonuses and prize money) partly because of the Middle Eastern money continuing to flow into sports. The other 24%, or $936 million, is attributable to their endorsements, appearances, licensing and memorabilia income, and other business endeavors, which is down 13% year-over-year from $1.08 billion.

The cutoff for this year’s top 50, like last year, is $45.2 million, a 20% hike from the previous record in 2022. Still, 10 newcomers qualified for the ranking, while another eight returned to the list after an absence of a year or longer. The NBA has the most players on the list of any sport at 19, while the NFL has 11 and global soccer comes in third with eight. LIV Golf’s presence is still felt on the list through two of the five ranking golfers, with Jon Rahm claiming the No. 2 spot after joining the upstart league in December.

The Spanish golfer is one of 22 athletes under the age of 30 on the list, which could be signaling a changing of the guard. Perennial list-makers Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Tom Brady have already settled into retirement, while Ronaldo, LeBron James, Tiger Woods and three other athletes aged 39 or older, may not be far behind.


Top 10 Highest Paid Athletes for 2024

RANK

NAME

SPORT

TOTAL EARNINGS

ON-THE-FIELD EARNINGS

OFF-THE-FIELD EARNINGS

1

Cristiano Ronaldo

Soccer

$260 M

$200 M

$60 M

2

Jon Rahm

Golf

$218 M

$198 M

$20 M

3

Lionel Messi

Soccer

$135 M

$65 M

$70 M

4

Lebron James

Basketball

$128.2 M

$48.2 M

$80 M

5

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Basketball

$111 M

$46 M

$65 M

6

Kylian Mbappé

Soccer

$110 M

$90 M

$20 M

7

Neymar

Soccer

$108 M

$80 M

$28 M

8

Karim Benzema

Soccer

$106 M

$100 M

$6 M

9

Steph Curry

Basketball

$102 M

$52 M

$50 M

10

Lamar Jackson

American Football

$100.5 M

$98.5 M

$2 M

All values in USD – See the complete list here

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