Sport is one platform that unites people and everyone has different interest levels when it comes to sports. Every athlete is talented enough to translate the win in the respective fields. It is true to say that an athlete who is supremely skillful and has gone through the best echelons of his or her several sports creates enough opportunities for creating cash in that game.
These sportsmen are not getting rich just because of the game they are connected with but they are the face of some of the big brands that fetch huge earnings. According to Forbes’, the list of top ten richest athletes in the world in 2016 is given below:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo:
He is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Portugal national team. He is a forward and his position is left winger in the field. He is the captain of Portugal. In 2008, he won his first Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He then won the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, Ronaldo scored his 500th senior career goal for club and country.
Often ranked as the best player in the world, Ronaldo was named the best Portuguese player of all time by the Portuguese Football Federation, during its 100th anniversary celebrations in 2015. He is the only player to win four European Golden Shoe awards. One of the most marketable athletes in the sport, Ronaldo is in the top position of Forbes’ list of the world's best paid athletes in 2016.
His total earnings are $ 88 million. His salary is $ 56 million and his earnings from endorsement are $ 32 million. In June 2016, ESPN ranked him as the world's most famous athlete.
2. Lionel Messi:
An Argentine professional footballer, Lionel Messi plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona and Argentina national team. His position is right winger in the field and he is the captain of Argentina. Messi is listed as the second position on Forbes' list of the world's best paid athletes in 2016. His total earnings are $ 81.4 million.
His salary is $ 53.4 million and his earnings from endorsement are $ 28 million. Often considered the best player in the world and rated by many in the sport as the greatest of all time, Messi is the only football player in history to win five FIFA Ballons d'Or, four of which he won consecutively, and the first player to win three European Golden Shoes.
As a player of Barcelona, He has won eight La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles, as well as four Copas del Rey. He is both a prolific goal scorer and a creative playmaker. He holds the records for most goals scored in La Liga, a La Liga season (50), a football season (82), and a calendar year (91), as well as those for most assists made in La Liga and the Copa América.
3. LeBron James:
He is an American professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). James has won three NBA championships (2012, 2013, and 2016), four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards (2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013), three NBA Finals MVP Awards (2012, 2013, and 2016), two Olympic gold medals (2008, 2012), an NBA scoring title (2008), and the NBA Rookie of the Year Award (2004).
He has also been selected to 12 NBA All-Star teams (named the game's MVP twice), 12 All-NBA teams, and six All-Defensive teams, and is the Cavaliers' all-time leading scorer. Off the court, James has accumulated considerable wealth and fame from numerous endorsement deals. His public life has been the subject of much scrutiny, and he has been ranked as one of America's most influential and popular athletes.
He has been featured in books, documentaries, and television commercials. He also hosted the ESPY Awards, Saturday Night Live, and appeared in the 2015 film Trainwreck. He is in the third position of Forbes’ list of the world's best paid athletes in 2016. His total earnings are $ 77.2 million. His salary is $ 23.2 million and his earnings from endorsement are $ 54 million.
4. Roger Federer:
A Swiss professional tennis player, Federer is currently ranked world No. 3 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He is in the fourth position of Forbes’ list of the world's best paid athletes in 2016. His total earnings are $ 67.8 million. His salary is $ 7.8 million and his earnings from endorsement are $ 60 million.
His accomplishments in professional tennis have led to him being regarded by many as the greatest tennis player of all time. Federer started his career in 1998 and has been continuously ranked in the top 10 since October 2002. Federer holds several records of the Open Era: holding the world No. 1 position for 302 weeks (including 237 consecutive weeks); winning 17 Grand Slam singles titles; reaching each Grand Slam final at least five times (an all-time record), and reaching the Wimbledon final ten times.
He is among the eight men (and among the five in Open Era) to capture a career Grand Slam. Federer shares an Open Era record for most titles at Wimbledon with Pete Sampras (seven) and at the US Open with Jimmy Connors and Sampras (five). He is the only male player to win five consecutive US Open titles.
5. Kevin Durant:
He is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Durant has won an NBA Most Valuable Player Award, four NBA scoring titles, the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and two Olympic gold medals. He has also been selected to six All-NBA teams and seven All-Star teams. In the 2007 NBA draft, he was selected with the second overall pick by the Seattle SuperSonics.
After his rookie season, the team relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. Durant helped lead Oklahoma City to the 2012 NBA Finals, losing to the Miami Heat in five games. He played nine seasons for the Thunder organization before joining the Warriors in 2016. He is in the fifth position of Forbes’ list of the world's best paid athletes in 2016. His total earnings are $ 56.2 million. His salary is $ 20.2 million and his earnings from endorsement are $ 36 million.
6. Novak Djokovic:
A Serbian professional tennis player, Djokovic is currently ranked world No.1 in men's singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He is in the sixth position of Forbes’ list of the world's best paid athletes in 2016. His total earnings are $ 55.8 million. His salary is $ 21.8 million and his earnings from endorsement are $ 34 million.
He is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Djokovic holds the best match winning rate (83.00%) in Open Era, as of August 2016. Djokovic is the first Serbian player to be ranked No. 1 by the ATP and the first male player representing Serbia to win a Grand Slam singles title.
Djokovic has won numerous awards, including 2012, 2015, and 2016 Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsman of the Year, 2011 BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year, five-time ITF World Champion, and four-time ATP year-end number 1.
7. Cameron Newton:
He is an American football quarterback for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Auburn and was drafted as the first overall pick by the Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft. Newton is the only player in the modern era to be awarded the Heisman Trophy, win a national championship, and become the first overall pick in an NFL draft within a one-year span.
He was the 2011 NFL Rookie of the Year, is a three-time Pro Bowler, and was named to the NFL All Pro First Team in 2015. In the final regular season game of the 2015 season, Newton tied Steve Young's NFL record for the most career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback—a record that Young set after 15 seasons in the NFL, compared to Newton's five. Newton capped off the 2015 season by capturing MVP honors and leading his Panthers to a 15-1 record and a trip to Super Bowl 50.
He is listed in the seventh position of Forbes’ list of the world's best paid athletes in 2016. His total earnings are $ 53.1 million. His salary is $ 41.1 million and his earnings from endorsement are $ 12 million.
8. Philip Mickelson:
He is an American professional golfer. He is listed as the eighth position of Forbes’ list of the world's best paid athletes in 2016. His total earnings are $ 52.9 million. His salary is $ 2.9 million and his earnings from endorsement are $ 50 million. He has won 42 events on the PGA Tour, including five major championships: three Masters titles (2004, 2006, 2010), a PGA Championship (2005), and an Open Championship (2013). Mickelson is one of 16 golfers in the history of the sport to win at least three of the four professional majors. The only major that has eluded him is the U.S. Open.
Mickelson has finished runner-up in the U.S. Open a record six times. He has been described by The Economist as "golf’s best loser ever". Mickelson has spent over 700 weeks in the top-10 of the Official World Golf Ranking, has reached a career-high world ranking of 2nd several times, and is a life member of the PGA Tour. Mickelson is nicknamed "Lefty" for his left-handed swing, even though he is otherwise right-handed. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in May 2012.
9. Jordan Spieth:
He is an American professional golfer on the PGA Tour and former world number one in the Official World Golf Ranking. He is a two-time major winner and the defending FedEx Cup champion. In April 2016 Time magazine named Spieth to its list of the "100 Most Influential People", noting that he "exemplifies everything that's great about sports.
Spieth won his first major at the 2015 Masters Tournament with a score of 270 (−18), earning him $1.8 million. Spieth tied the 72-hole record set by Tiger Woods in 1997 and became the second youngest to win the Masters, behind Woods. He then won the 2015 U.S. Open with a final score of 5-under-par.
He was the youngest U.S. Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923. He followed up with a win in the 2015 Tour Championship, which clinched the 2015 FedEx Cup. At the 2016 Masters Tournament, Spieth suffered one of the biggest collapses in the event's history after leading by five strokes halfway through the final round. He is listed in the ninth position of Forbes’ list of the world's best paid athletes in 2016. His total earnings are $ 52.8 million. His salary is $ 20.8 million and his earnings from endorsement are $ 32 million.
10. Kobe Bryant:
He is an American retired professional basketball player and businessman. He is listed the tenth position of Forbes’ list of the world's best paid athletes in 2016. His total earnings are $ 50 million. His salary is $ 25 million and his earnings from endorsement are $ 25 million. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
He entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA championships with the Lakers. Bryant is an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and a 12-time member of the All-Defensive team. He led the NBA in scoring during two seasons and ranks third on both the league's all-time regular season scoring and all-time postseason scoring lists.
He holds the NBA record for the most seasons playing with one franchise for an entire career. He continued to be among the top players in the league through 2013 when the 34-year-old Bryant suffered a torn Achilles tendon. Although he recovered, his play was limited the following two years by season-ending injuries to his knee and shoulder, respectively. Citing his physical decline, he announced that he would be retiring after the 2015–16 season.