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Here are Forbes' Highest Paid Athletes in the World

May 29, 2020 22:37 IST

Federer knocks down Messi from his perch to top Forbes list; Tennis stars Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams were the only women on the list.

'Roger Federer is the perfect pitchman for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement portfolio of blue-chip brands worth $100 million a year for the tennis great'

IMAGE: 'Roger Federer is the perfect pitchman for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement portfolio of blue-chip brands worth $100 million a year for the tennis great'. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Roger Federer is the world's highest-paid athlete for 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic knocked soccer's Lionel Messi off top spot, according to the annual Forbes list released on Friday.

The Swiss tennis great, owner of a men's record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, earned $106.3 million in the last 12 months, including $100 million via endorsements, to move up four places and become the first player from his sport to top the list.

Soccer players Cristiano Ronaldo ($105 million), Messi ($104 million) and Neymar ($95.5 million) and American basketball player LeBron James ($88.2 million) rounded out the top five.

"The coronavirus pandemic triggered salary cuts for soccer stars Messi and Ronaldo, clearing the way for a tennis player to rank as the world's highest-paid athlete for the first time," said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor at Forbes.

 

"Roger Federer is the perfect pitchman for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement portfolio of blue-chip brands worth $100 million a year for the tennis great."

Japan's Naomi Osaka ($37.4 million), who was ranked 29th on the list, surpassed fellow tennis player Serena Williams ($36 million) as the world's highest-earning female athlete.

Osaka and Williams were the only women on the list.

Basketball players led all sports with 35 players among the top 100. American football occupied 31 spots, none higher than six-times Super Bowl champion Tom Brady ($45 million) who was ranked 25th.

Soccer was the next most represented sport with 14 players, followed by tennis (six), boxing and mixed marital arts (five), golf (four), motor racing (three), and baseball and cricket with one each.

Forbes’ Top 10 Highest Paid Athletes of 2020 (Earnings in USD)

1. Roger Federer (Tennis) $106.3M

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Soccer) $105M

3. Lionel Messi (Soccer) $104M

4. Neymar (Soccer) $95.5M

5. LeBron James (NBA) $88.2M

6. Stephen Curry (NBA) $74.4M

7. Kevin Durant  (NBA) $63.9M

8. Tiger Woods (Golf) $62.3M

9. Kirk Cousins (American football) $60.5M

10. Carson Wentz (American football) $59.1M

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

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