Published: Thu, June 08, 2017
Sport | By Charlene Craig

Highest Paid Athletes: 2017 Forbes List Topped by Soccer Star

Highest Paid Athletes: 2017 Forbes List Topped by Soccer Star

It seems that the world of football only ever has two direct front-runners for the game's most prestigious personal accolade, the Ballon d'Or, with Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi pitting their limitless qualities against one another's, year in, year out. Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi, who was No. 2 a year ago, was third on the list, with calculated earnings of $80m ($53m in salary/winnings, $27m in endorsements).

The 28 year-old earned $50 million (€44 million) in combined salaries, prize money and sponsorship between June of last year, and June of this year.

Woods ranks No 17 this year, while Mayweather did not make the cut, having had no fights over the past 12 months.

Basketball dominates with a record 32 NBA players among the top 100, up from 18 in 2016, followed by baseball with 22, American football with 15 and football with nine.

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 30th with $32m (£24.79m), is the highest-placed Premier League footballer.

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To calculate the following results, all salaries and bonuses earned between June 1, 2016 and June 1, 2017 are included in Forbes' list.

The golfers' income includes course design work.

Forbes has announced their annual list of the world's highest paid athletes, and once again Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo holds the title of the richest man in sports.

The top 100 players on the list included athletes from 11 sports including 32 National Basketball Association players, up from 18 in 2016.

Sixty-three American athletes had top-100 salaries, mostly in the NBA, NFL, and Major League Baseball.

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