You might have heard the following words many times in your life. “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” Maybe, the athletes in this list have taken this statement a bit too seriously. In their case, it has been all play throughout their lives. Please note that we are not saying that they do not work at all. You need to perform great sacrifices to excel in any sport. The sacrifices can be on the personal front as well as on the sporting front.
There can be times when you might have to spend a long time away from the family while you are busy with your sport. At the same time, injuries can force you out of the sport for a long time. It can become very difficult to make a comeback after a serious injury. You need tremendous will power to do so. These ten sports persons have seen the best and the worst of both the worlds.
They have worked hard to reach the pinnacle of their respective sports. Hence, no one grudges their achievements and earnings as well. This is the list of the top 10 riches athletes in the world right now.
10. Lewis Hamilton: $46 million
Auto racing is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. In spite of the best safety measures, it has seen its share of casualties in history. Hence, it is no surprise that it is one of the highest earning sports as well. At the No 10 position we have one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all rime, Lewis Hamilton. This British driver is a three time winner of the Formula One World Championship. At present he is representing the Mercedes AMG Petronas team. He has the distinction of winning more races than any other British driver. He has many other world records to his credit such as being the holder of the all-time most career points, the most number of wins in different circuits, and so on. With a net worth of $46 million, Lewis Hamilton opens this list of the Top 10 richest athletes in the world.
9. James Harden: $46.6 million
Basketball is one of the most popular games in the US. In fact, this can be the richest game of all because you are going to see more people in this list playing this sport. The NBA is one of the richest sporting associations in the world. At No 9 we have a prominent NBA player, James harden representing the Houston Rockets. One of the most prolific scorers in the NBA, James Harden has the reputation of being the best shooting guard in the NBA. Having won a lot of awards and accolades in his career, James Harden has also amassed a fortune of $46.6 million.
8. Stephen Curry: $47.3 million
Just as we had mentioned above, we have the second entrant in this list of the top richest athletes in the world in the form of Stephen Curry at No 8. Having earned the reputation of being named as the greatest shooter in NBA history, Stephen Curry represents the Golden State Warriors in the NBA. He has won the NBA Most Valuable Player in the year 2014-15. He has the distinction of being the first and only player in the world to retain the title of the MVP for two years running. He has helped his team create a record as well helping them to reach the finals of the NBA for the third straight year. With earnings of $47.3 million, Stephen Curry is No 8 in this list.
7. Rory Mcilroy: $50 million
They always say that Golf is the game of millionaires. This is very true particularly in the case of the No 7 athlete in this list, Rory Mcilroy. Belonging to Northern Ireland, Rory is an active member of both the European as well as the PGA tours. He has the distinction of holding the Number 1 ranking in the sport for a record 95 weeks. He has won many majors, the most important being the 2011 US Open with a record score of -16. Other than Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, Rory is the third player to win three majors before reaching the age of 25. With a net worth of $50 million, Rory is the No 7 in this list.
6. Andrew Luck: $50 million
American Football is a lucrative sport with many of its players finding a place in the Top 100 earning athletes every year. At No 6 we have one of the highest earning American Football players, Andrew Luck. You do need a certain amount of luck to reach this position but no one can find fault with the hard work done by Andrew Luck. Playing at the quarterback position for the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL, Andrew Luck has earned the reputation of being the most offensive player in the Pac 12 conference in 2010 as well as 2011. A net worth of $50 million makes him the No 6 highest paid athlete in the world.
5. Kevin Durant: $60.6 million
We have a representative from basketball again in the form of one of the greatest players ever to step on a basketball court. This is Kevin Durant at No 5. Representing the Golden State Warriors in the NBA, he has won a spate of awards such as the MVP, NBA Finals MVP, NBA All-Star MVP, two Olympic gold medals, and so on. Kevin earns a lot of money from the endorsement circuit as well. He is a multi-talented athlete in the sense that he has tried his hand in Hollywood as well with his appearance in the 2012 film, Thunderstruck. The earnings of $60.6 million make him the No 5 richest athlete in the world.
4. Roger Federer: $64 million
Tennis is one of the most beautiful sports in the world. We have a representative from this fantastic sport at the No 4 position in the form of the best player the game has ever seen, Roger Federer. The winner of 19 Grand Slam tournaments in an illustrious career spread over 19 years, Roger Federer is a perfect gentleman both on as well as off the court. Belonging to one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Switzerland, he is a real cool player in many ways. This is an individual sport where you have to be literally on the move throughout the year. This can entail separation from the family for a long period. Federer has found a way out by taking his family with him wherever he goes. The greatest player the world has ever seen, Roger Federer has a net worth of $64 million making him rank at No 4 in this list.
3. Lionel Messi: $80 million
Now, we move into a higher category of earnings with the top three athletes earning $80 million or more. The person to open up this exalted list is none other than one of the greatest modern football (soccer) players of all time, Lionel Messi. Belonging to Argentina, Lionel Messi has played a lot for the Spanish club FC Barcelona. One of the most skillful players of all time, Messi has won the Ballon D’Or a record five times in his career, four of them in successive years. This explains his domination in this sport. He has always been a prolific scorer for his club as well as his country. Having won a host of tournaments for his club, the only trophy missing from his collection is the FIFA World Cup. A net worth of $80 million sees Lionel Messi at the No 3 spot.
2. LeBron James: $86.2 million
We have a fourth representative of basketball in this list reinforcing its reputation of being one of most lucrative sports in the world. The No 2 spot goes to LeBron James representing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA. The list of awards in his cabinet is proof of his achievements as a top athlete. This includes four MVP awards, two Olympic gold medals and a host of others in an illustrious career. He is a prolific scorer having been the leading scorer for his team on various occasions. The earnings of $86.2 million include endorsement deals as well. This makes him the holder of the No 2 spot in this exalted list.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo: $93 million
We have the one and only Cristiano Ronaldo at the Numero Uno spot in this list of the top 10 richest athletes in the world. This player does not need any introduction at all. One of the greatest football players ever to play this game, Cristiano Ronaldo represents Portugal and Real Madrid in the Spanish league, La Liga. A prolific scorer of goal, Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or four times in his career. He has the distinction of being the first player in the history of the sport to win four European Golden Shoes. He holds the enviable record of scoring the most number of goals (369) in the top five European leagues. That is a huge number by any stretch of imagination. Earnings in the range of $93 million make him the richest athlete in the world today.
You have now seen that sports can also pay you handsomely provided you put in the requisite effort to excel in it. The best quality of all the players in the list is that they play their respective sports in the hardest way possible. At the same time, they place a great emphasis on playing the game in the right spirit.