Cristiano Ronaldo Tops Athlete Earnings List, Antetokounmpo Ranks High

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Cristiano Ronaldo reigns supreme as the world's richest athlete, raking in a staggering €256 million last year. But where does Greece's own Giannis Antetokounmpo land on this exclusive list?

Antetokounmpo shines at number 8 with an income of €82.3 million, making him the third highest-earning basketball player, just behind LeBron James and Steph Curry.

Another notable presence in the top 10 is Spanish golfer John Rahm with €190 million. While Rahm could have claimed the top spot after his lucrative move to the LIV Golf series, Sportico's calculations placed him second.

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This year marks the first time since this list's inception that no female athletes feature in the top 100. This is unexpected considering recent efforts to boost prize money in women's sports. However, there's a clear reason for this absence: Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka, who made the 2023 list, are currently sidelined – Serena due to retirement and Osaka due to pregnancy.

At the bottom of the top 100 sits Derek Carr (American football) with €30 million, just surpassing last year's threshold of €28 million. Coco Gauff takes the title of "highest-paid female athlete" with €21 million.

Basketball dominates the list, claiming 40% of the top 100 spots, followed by American football (16%), baseball (13%), soccer (11%), and golf (10%). Boxing, tennis, and horse racing each hold 2% of the positions.

The youngest athlete on the list is Carlos Alcaraz, a tennis prodigy at just 20 years old, securing the 56th spot with €40 million. At the other end of the spectrum, legendary golfer Tiger Woods, despite playing few tournaments due to his 48-year-old age, still lands at number 14 with €75 million, primarily thanks to lucrative sponsorships.

In total, athletes across eight sports and 25 countries earned an estimated €5 billion last year. This figure breaks down to €3.9 billion in salaries and prizes, with the remaining €1.1 billion coming from sponsorships, memorabilia sales, image rights, and other sources.

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